La Fontaine fables

The Fox and the Turkeys

the fox and the turkeys

Against a robber fox, a tree
Some turkeys served as citadel.
That villain, much provoked to see
Each standing there as sentinel,
Cried out, “Such witless birds
At me stretch out their necks, and gobble!
No, by the powers! I’ll give them trouble.”
He verified his words.
The moon, that shined full on the oak,
Seem’d then to help the turkey folk.
But fox, in arts of siege well versed,
Ransack’d his bag of tricks accursed.
He feign’d himself about to climb;
Walk’d on his hinder legs sublime;
Then death most aptly counterfeited,
And seem’d anon resuscitated.
A practiser of wizard arts
Could not have fill’d so many parts.
In moonlight he contrived to raise
His tail, and make it seem a blaze:
And countless other tricks like that.
Meanwhile, no turkey slept or sat.
Their constant vigilance at length,
As hoped the fox, wore out their strength.
Bewilder’d by the rigs he run,
They lost their balance one by one.
As Renard slew, he laid aside,
Till nearly half of them had died;
Then proudly to his larder bore,
And laid them up, an ample store.
A foe, by being over-heeded,
Has often in his plan succeeded.

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