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309 Works of Jean de La Fontaine

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Three saints, all equally zealous and anxious for their salvation, had the same ideal, although the means by which they strove towards it were different. But as all roads lead to Rome, these three were each content to choose their own path. One, touched by the cares, the tediousness, and the reverses which seem to […]

A woodcutter had broken or lost the handle of his hatchet and found it not easy to get it repaired at once. During the time, therefore, that it was out of use, the woods enjoyed a respite from further damage. At last the man came humbly and begged of the forest to allow him gently […]

Some young turkeys were lucky enough to find a tree which served them as a citadel against the assaults of a certain fox. He, one night, having made the round of the rampart and seen each turkey watching like a sentinel, exclaimed, “What! These people laugh at me, do they? And do they think that […]

Once in the olden times the elephant and the rhinoceros disputed as to which was the more important, and which should, therefore, have empire over the other animals. They decided to settle the point by battle in an enclosed field. The day was fixed, and all in readiness, when somebody came and informed them that […]

“What have I done to be treated in this way? Mutilated by my own master! A nice state to be in! Dare I present myself before other dogs? O ye kings over the animals, or rather tyrants of them, would any creature do the same to you?” Such were the lamentations of poor Fido, a […]

The League Of Rats

Story type: Literature

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There was once a mouse who lived in terrible fear of a cat that had lain in wait watching for her. She was in great anxiety to know what she could do to escape the threatening danger. Being prudent and wise she consulted her neighbour, a large and important rat. His lordship the rat had […]

Mamma lioness had lost one of her cubs. Some hunter had made away with it, and the poor unfortunate mother roared out her wailings to such an extent that all the inhabitants of the forest were seriously disturbed. The spells of the night, its darkness and its silence, were powerless to hush the tumult of […]

Why does AEsop give to the fox the reputation of excelling in all tricks of cunning? I have sought for a reason, but cannot find one. Does not the wolf, when he has need to defend his life or take that of another, display as much knowingness as the fox? I believe he knows more, […]

One day two pilgrims espied upon the sands of the shore an oyster that had been thrown up by the tide. They devoured it with their eyes whilst pointing at it with their fingers; but whose teeth should deal with it was a matter of dispute. When one stopped to pick up the prey the […]

It is not always wise to say to your company, “Just listen to this joke” or “What do you think of this for a marvel?” for one can never be sure that the listeners will regard the matter in the same way that the teller does. Yet here is a case that makes an exception […]

There was a funeral. The dead body was progressing sadly towards its last resting place; and following rather gladly, was the priest who meant to bury it as soon as possible. The dead man, in a leaden coffin, was borne in a coach, and was properly shrouded in that robe the dead always wear be […]

Who does not run after Fortune? I would I were in some spot whence I could watch the eager crowds rushing from kingdom to kingdom in their vain chase after the daughter of Chance! They are indeed but faithful followers of a phantom; for when they think they have her, lo! she is gone! Poor […]

The Power Of Fable

Story type: Literature

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In the old, vain, and fickle city of Athens, an orator,[2] seeing how the light-hearted citizens were blind to certain dangers which threatened the state, presented himself before the tribune, and there sought, by the very tyranny of his forceful eloquence, to move the heart of the republic towards a sense of the common welfare. […]

Our hands are no more proof against gold than our eyes are proof against beauty. There are but few who guard their treasures with care enough. A certain dog who had been taught to carry to his master the mid-day meal was one day trotting along with the savoury burden slung around his neck. He […]

A man who had a great fondness for gardening, being half a countryman and half town-bred, possessed in a certain village a fair-sized plot with a field attached, and all enclosed by a quickset hedge. Here sorrel and lettuce grew freely, as well as such flowers as Spanish jasmine and wild thyme, and from these […]

The Maiden

Story type: Literature

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A certain damsel of considerable pride made up her mind to choose a husband who should be young, well-built, and handsome; of agreeable manners and–note these two points–neither cold nor jealous. Moreover, she held it necessary that he should have means, high birth, intellect; in fact, everything. But whoever was endowed with everything? The fates […]

If goodness were always the comrade of beauty I would seek a wife to-morrow; but as divorce between these two is no new thing, and as there are so few lovely forms that enshrine lovely souls, thus uniting both one and the other delight, do not take it amiss that I refrain from seeking such […]

A young country woman named Perrette set out one morning from her little dairy-farm with a pail of milk which she cleverly balanced upon her head over a pad or cushion. She hurried with sprightly steps to the market town, and so that she might be the less encumbered, wore a kirtle that was short […]

A block of marble was so fine,To buy it did a sculptor hasten.‘What shall my chisel, now ’tis mine–A god, a table, or a basin?’ ‘A god,’ said he, ‘the thing shall be;I’ll arm it, too, with thunder.Let people quake, and bow the kneeWith reverential wonder.’ So well the cunning artist wroughtAll things within a […]

A boy who savour’d of his school,–A double rogue and double fool,–By youth and by the privilegeWhich pedants have, by ancient right,To alter reason, and abridge,–A neighbour robb’d, with fingers light,Of flowers and fruit. This neighbour had,Of fruits that make the autumn glad,The very best–and none but he.Each season brought, from plant and tree,To him […]