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THE FOX AND THE GOAT. Jean de La Fontaine

A Fox once travelled, and for company
His friend, a large-horned Goat, had he,
Who scarce could see an inch beyond his nose,
While Reynard every trick and quibble knows.
Thirst drove these folks, it so befell,
To seek the bottom of a well.
After they′d had their bout of drinking,
Says Reynard, "Comrade, I am thinking
How we can best get out from here;
Put up your feet and horns—no fear—
Rear up against the wall, my friend,
And I′ll climb up—our troubles end.
One spring upon your horns will do;
And I once out can rescue you."
"Now, by my beard! I like the plan,"
The other said, "you′re one that can;
Such folks as you see clear through things,
Some never learn the secret springs;
I never should have found it out,
Though I had groped a year about."
The Fox once free, the Goat compelled
To learn a sermon—the text′s "patience."
"If Heaven," he said, "had only held
It right to give thee and thy dull relations
Half as much sense as beard—
(But then it hasn′t, I′m afeard);
Still use your efforts, my dear sir—no perturbations.
Certain affairs of state
Will hardly let me longer wait;
In everything ′tis well to mind the end,
In future think of that, my friend."


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