Jean de La Fontaine is a well known story teller in French literature. In a small park in the west of Paris, Jardin du Ranelagh, I came across this charming statue of him with a crow and a fox, depicting his poem (a lesson to us all):
The Crow and the Fox
By Jean de La Fontaine (1621–1695)
A master crow, perched on a tree one day,
Was holding in his beak a piece of cheese.
A master fox, by th’ odor drawn that way,
Spake unto him in words like these:
“Good-morning, my Lord Crow!
How well you look, how handsome you do grow!
Upon my honor, if your note
Bears a resemblance to your coat,
You are the phœnix of the dwellers in these woods.”
At these words does the crow exceedingly rejoice;
And, to display his beauteous voice,
He opens a wide beak, lets fall his stolen goods.
The fox seized on’t, and said, “My dear good sir,
Learn you that every flatterer
Lives at the expense of him who hears him out.
This lesson is well worth some cheese, no doubt.”
The crow, ashamed, and much in pain,
Swore, but a little late, they’d not catch him again.
A block further to the west is the 850 hectare Bois de Boulogne, a haven for joggers it seems, even in this cold weather. My last Saturday in Paris… I visited the small but impressive Musee Marmottan Monet, sadly this is a private museum and no photographs were allowed.