The Cat and the Fox once took a walk together,
Sharpening their wits with talk about the weather
And as their walking…
With stomachs filled, they presently grew prouder,
And each began to try to talk the louder–
Bragging about his skill, and strength, and cunning.
“Pooh!” said the Fox. “You ought to see me running.
Besides, I have a hundred tricks. You Cat, you!
What can you do when Mr. Dog comes at you?”
“To tell the truth,” the Cat said, “though it grieve me
I’ve but one trick. Yet that’s enough–believe me!”
There came a pack of fox-hounds–yelping, baying.
“Pardon me”, said the Cat. “I can’t be staying.
This is my trick.” And up a tree he scurried,
Leaving the Fox below a trifle worried.
Pardon me, said the Cat, I can’t be staying.
In vain he tried his hundred tricks and ruses
(The sort of thing that Mr. Dog confuses)–
Doubling, and seeking one hole, then another–
Smoked out of each until he thought he’d smother.
At last as he once more came out of cover,
Two nimble dogs pounced on him–All was over!
Fables in Rhyme for Little Folks
Adapted from the French of La Fontaine.
Written by, W. T. Larned
Illustrated by, John Rae.
New York, July 1918.