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THE WOLF, THE GOAT, AND THE KID. Jean de La Fontaine

The She-Goat going out to feed
Upon the young grass in the mead,
Closed not the latch until she bid
Her youngest born, her darling kid,
Take care to open door to none,
Or if she did, only to one
Who gave the watchword of the place—
"Curse to the Wolf and all his race!"
The Wolf was just then passing by,
And having no bad memory,
Laid the spell by, a perfect treasure
Ready to be used at leisure.
The Kid, so tender and so small,
Had never seen a wolf at all.
The mother gone, the hypocrite
Assumes a voice demure and fit—
"The Wolf be cursed! come, pull the latch."
The Kid says, peeping through a chink,
"Show me a white foot" (silly patch),
"Or I′ll not open yet the door, I think."
White paws are rare with wolves—not yet in fashion.
The Wolf surprised, and dumb with secret passion,
Went as he came, and sneaked back to his lair:
The Kid had lost her life without that care,
Had she but listened to the word
The watchful Wolf had overheard.
Two sureties are twice as good as one,
Without them she had been undone.
And so I boldly say,
That too much caution′s never thrown away.

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