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The Fox and the Crane

The Fox and the Crane

The Fox & the Crane

You have heard how Sir Fox treated Crane:
With soup in a plate. When again
They dined, a long bottle
Just suited Crane's throttle;
And Sir Fox licked the outside in vain.


The Fox and the Crane

A FOX invited a Crane to supper and provided nothing for his entertainment but some soup made of pulse, which was poured out into a broad flat stone dish. The soup fell out of the long bill of the Crane at every mouthful, and his vexation at not being able to eat afforded the Fox much amusement. The Crane, in his turn, asked the Fox to sup with him, and set before her a flagon with a long narrow mouth, so that he could easily insert his neck and enjoy its contents at his leisure. The Fox, unable even to taste it, met with a fitting requital, after the fashion of her own hospitality.

Illustration 020

The Fox and the Crane

"I certainly  think," said a fox to a crane,

"That face, ma'am of yours is remarkably plain;

That beak that you wear is so frightful a feature,

It makes you appear a most singular creature."

The crane, much offended at what she had heard,

March'd off at full speed, without saying a word:

"Oh dear!" said the fox, "Mrs. Crane, I protest

You misunderstand me, 'twas only a jest."

"Come, don't be affronted—stay with me and dine;

You know very well 'tis this temper of mine

To say such odd things to my intimate friends;

But you know that poor Reynard no mischief intends."

So the crane thought it best not to break with him quite,

But to view his remarks in a good-natured light.

So she put on as pleasant a face as she could

When he ask'd her to dine, and replied that she would.

But alas! she perceived that his jokes were not over,

When Reynard removed from the victuals its cover

'Twas neither game, butcher's meat, chicken, not fish;

But plain gravy-soup, in a broad shallow dish.

Now this the fox lapp'd with his tongue very quick,

While the crane could scarce dip in the point of her beak;

"You make a poor dinner," said he to his guest;

"Oh, dear! by no means," said the bird, "I protest."

But the crane ask'd the fox on a subsequent day,

When nothing, it seems, for their dinner had they

But some minced meat served up in a narrow-neck'd jar;

Too long, and narrow, for Reynard by far.

"You make a poor dinner, I fear," said the bird;

"Why, I think," said the fox, "'twould be very absurd

To deny what you say, yet I cannot complain,

But confess, though a fox, that I'm matched by a crane."


Cunning folks who play tricks which good manners condemn,

Often find their own tricks play'd again upon them.

Illustration 023