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THE FOX AND THE TURKEYS. Jean de La Fontaine

Against a Fox, a tree served well
The Turkeys for a citadel.
The cunning rascal made the round,
And sentries at each opening found.
"What! these fools mock me, then?" he cried,
"And at the common lot deride?
Forbid it, gods! forbid it, pride!"
And this vow of his chivalry
He soon performed, as you will see.
The moon came just then shining out,
As if the Turkeys′ foes to rout;
But he, no novice in assault
Like this, was not, of course, at fault;
And from his bag of schemes so sly
Drew one, to trap the weak and shy.
He feigns to climb, with rampant paws,
And next apes death, with close-fixed jaws.
He then revives, resuscitated:
No harlequin so much elated:
Raises his tail, and makes it shine,
And in the moonlight glitter fine.
No single Turkey dares to sleep,
But ceaseless, tiring watch they keep.
Worn out, they try their eyes to fix
Upon their foeman′s wicked tricks;
At last, half giddy, one by one
Fall headlong, and his game is done.
He puts them carefully aside,
Till nearly half of them have died;
Then the bold rascal quickly bore
Away the heap, to fill his store.

If dangers we too closely heed,
′Tis ten to one they come indeed.

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