The Rat and the Elephant (French Folk Tale)

Folk Tales, French Folk Tales3277

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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