Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Jean de La Fontaine - 1668

Translated into English
  by Robert Thomson - 1913

Translated from (French):
La Grenouille qui veut se faire aussi grosse que le Boeuf

Country of origin: France

Based on The Frog and the Ox (Aesop)


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The Frog and Ox

Jean de La Fontaine / Robert Thomson

A frog an ox with envy saw,
Admired his wondrous size,
Staring with both her little eyes.
And murmuring at Nature's law,
Thought fit for larger bulk to beg,
Herself no bigger than an egg ;
She laboured, stretched, began to swell,
“ Sister, ” she said, “ now mark me well,
Is that enough ?—tell me—may I compare ? ”
“ No, faith ; ”—“ look flow ? ” “ Not in the least ”—“ then there ? ”
“ You don't approach it, sister. ” . . . “ Then here goes !”
So swelled the silly thing, and burst amidst her throes.
Of just such fools, the world enough affords,
Cits buy and build to copy dukes and lords ;
Each petty prince a monarch’s pomp assumes,
Each count has pages strutting round his rooms.