Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Jean de La Fontaine - 1668

Translated into English - 1906

Source: The World’s Wit and Humor

Translated from (French):
Le Corbeau et le Renard

Country of origin: France

Story type: Raven with a Cheese (ATU 57)

Based on The Fox and the Crow (Aesop)


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The Crow and the Fox

Jean de La Fontaine

Master Crow perched on a tree,
Was holding a cheese in his beak.
Master Fox attracted by the smell
Said something like this:
"Well, Hello Mister Crow!
How beautiful you are! how nice you seem to me!
Really, if your voice
Is like your plumage,
You are the phoenix of all the inhabitants of these woods."
At these words, the Crow is overjoyed.
And in order to show off his beautiful voice,
He opens his beak wide, lets his prey fall
The Fox grabs it, and says: "My good man,
Learn that every flatterer
Lives at the expense of the one who listens to him.
This lesson, without doubt, is well worth a cheese."
The Crow, ashamed and embarrassed,
Swore, but a little late, that he would not be taken again.