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THE RAT AND THE ELEPHANT. Jean de La Fontaine

In France there′s many a man of small degree
Fond of asserting his own mightiness:
A "nobody" turns "somebody." We see
In this the nation′s natural flightiness.
In Spain men are not vain; their high-flown schools
Have made them proud, yet have not made them fools.

A tiny Rat saw a huge Elephant
Travelling slowly with his equipage;
′Mongst beasts a sultan, knowing not a want.
His suite comprised within a monstrous cage

His household gods, his favourite dog and cat,
His parroquet, his monkey, and all that.

The Rat, astonished to see people stare
At so much bulk and state, which took up all
The space where he of right should have his share,
Upon the citizens began to call:
"Fools! know you not that smallest rats are equal
To biggest elephants?" (Alas! the sequel.)

"Is it his monstrous bulk you′re staring at?
It can but frighten little girls and boys;
Why, I can do the same. You see, a Rat
Is scarce less than an Elephant." A noise!
The Cat sprang from her cage; and, with one pant,
The Rat found he was not an Elephant.

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