Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Jean de La Fontaine - 1668

Translated into English

Original title (French):
Les Deux Taureaux et une Grenouille

Country of origin: France


English - aligned

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Two bulls and the frog

Jean de La Fontaine

Two bulls began a fight to see which would possess
A heifer-and the empire, too.
A frog made noises of distress.
"But what have they to do with you?"
Inquired the croaker's croaking friend.
Replied the first, "But, can't you guess?
It's all too clear how this will end:
The loser trotting off to exile from the fields,
The victor chasing after him until he yields
All claims of being king upon the grassy plain.
And then when he comes here among our reeds to reign,
We will be trampled in the muck before he's done!
This war that lust for Madam Heifer has begun
Will end by crushing all our nation, one by one."
His apprehension was correct-
The losing bull ran off to cower
Down in the swamp, with the effect
Of squashing twenty frogs per hour.
Alas! All ages demonstrate
That small folk are destroyed by passions of the great.