The Rat and the Elephant

La Fontaine January 17, 2015
1 min read
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    A rat, of quite the smallest size,
    Fix’d on an elephant his eyes,
    And jeer’d the beast of high descent
    Because his feet so slowly went.
    Upon his back, three stories high,
    There sat, beneath a canopy,
    A certain sultan of renown,
    His dog, and cat, and wife sublime,
    His parrot, servant, and his wine,
    All pilgrims to a distant town.
    The rat profess’d to be amazed
    That all the people stood and gazed
    With wonder, as he pass’d the road,
    Both at the creature and his load.
    “As if,” said he, “to occupy
    A little more of land or sky
    Made one, in view of common sense,
    Of greater worth and consequence!
    What see ye, men, in this parade,
    That food for wonder need be made?
    The bulk which makes a child afraid?
    In truth, I take myself to be,
    In all aspects, as good as he.”
    And further might have gone his vaunt;
    But, darting down, the cat
    Convinced him that a rat
    Is smaller than an elephant.


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