HomeJean de La FontaineTHE WOLF PLEADING AGAINST THE FOX BEFORE THE APE

THE WOLF PLEADING AGAINST THE FOX BEFORE THE APE. Jean de La Fontaine

A Wolf who′d suffered from a thief,
His ill-conditioned neighbour Mr. Fox
Brought up (and falsely, that is my belief)
Before the Ape, to fill the prisoner′s box.
The plaintiff and defendant in this case
Distract the place
With questions, answers, cries, and boisterous speeches,
So angry each is.
In an Ape′s memory no one saw
An action so entangled as to law.
Hot and perspiring was the judge′s face,
He saw their malice, and, with gravity,
Decided thus:—"I know you well of old, my friends,
Both must pay damages, I see;
You, Wolf, because you′ve brought a groundless charge:
You, Fox, because you stole from him; on that I′ll not enlarge."

The judge was right; it′s no bad plan,
To punish rascals how you can.

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