The Fox invited neighbour Stork to dinner,
But Reynard was a miser, I′m afraid;
He offered only soup, and that was thinner
Than any soup that ever yet was made.
The guest—whose lanky beak was an obstruction,
The mixture being served upon a plate—
Made countless vain experiments in suction,
While Reynard feasted at a rapid rate.
The victim, bent upon retaliation,
Got up a little dinner in return.
Reynard accepted; for an invitation
To eat and drink was not a thing to spurn.
He reached the Stork′s at the appointed hour,
Flattered the host, as well as he was able,
And got his grinders ready to devour
Whatever dishes might be brought to table.
But, lo! the Stork, to punish the offender,
Had got the meat cut very fine, and placed
Within a jug; the neck was long and slender,
Suited exactly to its owner′s taste.
The Stork, whose appetite was most extensive,
Emptied the jug entirely to the dregs;
While hungry Reynard, quite abashed and pensive,
Walked homewards with his tail between his legs.
Deceivers reap the fruits of their deceit,
And being cheated may reform a cheat.