Jean de le Fontaine – “Le Courbeau et le Renard”
Read by Byron Stayskal

Maître Corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
Tenait dans son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard, par l’odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce langage :
« Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces bois. »
A ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie ;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le Renard s’en saisit, et dit : « Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute :
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage, sans doute. »
Le Corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu’on ne l’y prendrait plus.


Master crow, on a tree perched,
Held in his beak a cheese,
Master fox, by the odor attracted,
Held him with almost this language:
"Well hello, Mister Crow.
You are so pretty! You seem to me beautiful!
Without lying, if your song
Is comparable to your feathers,
You are the Phoenix of these woods."
At these words, the crow was overcome with joy;
And to show his beautiful voice,
He opened his mouth wide, and dropped his prey.
The fox seized it, and said: "My good mister,
Learn that every flatterer
Lives at the expense of those who listen to him.
This lesson is well worth a cheese without doubt."
The crow, ashamed and embarrassed,
Swore, but a little late, that he would never be taken again.