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THE BAT AND THE TWO WEASELS. Jean de La Fontaine

A Bat one day into a Weasel′s hole
Went boldly; well, it was a special blunder.
The Weasel, hating mice with heart and soul,
Ran up to eat the stranger—where′s the wonder?
"How do you dare," he said, "to meet me here,
When you and I are foes, and always were?
Aint you a mouse?—lie not, and cast off fear;
You are; or I′m no Weasel: have a care."
"Now, pardon me," replied the Bat,
"I′m really anything but that.
What! I a mouse? the wicked tattlers lie.
Thanks to the Maker of all human things,
I am a bird—here are my wings:
Long live the cleavers of the sky!"
These arguments seemed good, and so
The Weasel let the poor wretch go.
But two days later, though it seems absurd,
The simpleton into another hole intruded.
This second Weasel hated every bird,
And darted on the rash intruder.
"There you mistake," the Bat exclaimed;
"Look at me, ain[′]t I rashly blamed?
What makes a bird? its feathers?—yes.
I am a mouse—long live the rats,
And Jupiter take all the cats."
So twice, by his supreme address,
This Bat was saved—thanks to finesse.

Many there are who, changing uniform,
Have laughed at every danger and intrigue;
The wise man cries, to ′scape the shifting storm,
"Long live the King!" or, "Glory to the League!"

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