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THE LION GOING TO WAR. Jean de La Fontaine

Lion planned a foray on a foe;
Held a war-council; sent his heralds out
To warn the Animals he′d strike a blow;
Soon all were ready to help slay and rout—
Each in his special way. The Elephant,
To bear upon his back the baggage and supplies,
And right, as usual. Then the Bear, to plant
The flag upon the breach. The Fox′s eyes
Brighten at thought of diplomatic guile.
The Monkey hopes to dupe with endless tricks.
"But send away the Asses," says, meanwhile,
Some courtier, in whose mind the fancy sticks;
"They′re only stupid. Pack off, too, the Hares."
"No, not so," said the King; "I′ll use them all:
Our troop′s imperfect, if they have no shares.
The Ass shall be our startling trumpet call;
The Hare is useful for our courier, mind."
Prudent and wise the King who knows the way
For every subject fitting task to find.
Nothing is useless to the wise, they say.

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