The Shepherd and His Dog (French Folk Tale)

Folk Tales, French Folk Tales3405

A shepherd, with a single dog,

Was ask”d the reason why

He kept a dog, whose least supply

Amounted to a loaf of bread

For every day. The people said

He”d better give the animal

To guard the village seignior”s hall;

For him, a shepherd, it would be

A thriftier economy

To keep small curs, say two or three,

That would not cost him half the food,

And yet for watching be as good.

The fools, perhaps, forgot to tell

If they would fight the wolf as well.

The silly shepherd, giving heed,

Cast off his dog of mastiff breed,

And took three dogs to watch his cattle,

Which ate far less, but fled in battle.

Not vain our tale, if it convinces

Small states that ”tis a wiser thing

To trust a single powerful king,

Than half a dozen petty princes.

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