Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Le corbeau et le renard

The Crow and The Fox is one of the many fables by the famous man depicted in this statue, 17th century writer, Jean de la Fontaine. Every French school child has grown up with his stories, usually with a moral, similar to Aesop or Phaedrus. This statue is located near La Muette - Auteuil, and is a fine tribute to this former member of the Académie Française.


  1. What an interesting statue, Eric! I like the way de la Fontaine's hands are on his hips, as if he's making sure everyone behaves.

  2. Oh, but this is one of the finests photos you've ever taken, Eric. I wonder if you sing as well as you take photographs?

  3. Your site is like taking a French culture class, without having to pass the test. YES, that is exactly why I am drawn to PDP! I never thought of that before.
    Jeff you made me lol yesterday!

  4. Ah, one of my favorites!

    Le Corbeau et le Renard:

    Maître Corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
    Tenait en son bec un fromage.
    Maître Renard, par l'odeur alléché,
    Lui tint à peu près ce langage :
    "Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
    Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
    Sans mentir, si votre ramage
    Se rapporte à votre plumage,
    Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces bois. "
    A ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie ;
    Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
    Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
    Le Renard s'en saisit, et dit : "Mon bon Monsieur,
    Apprenez que tout flatteur
    Vit aux dépens de celui qui l'écoute :
    Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage, sans doute. "
    Le Corbeau, honteux et confus,
    Jura, mais un peu tard, qu'on ne l'y prendrait plus.

    I'm sure there is a translation out there already (hopefully)?

  5. I hope this crow doesn't lose his cheese by deciding to sing to the fox...oops, there goes the cheese! Flattery of the fox earns him his meal. What a clever fox.

  6. Here you go Tomate!

    Perched in a treetop, old Mister Crow
    Was holding a cheese in his beak.
    Drawn by the stench, Mister Fox, down below,
    Peered up, then proceeded to speak.
    "Well, hello, fair Sir Crow! Lovely day!
    How you dazzle my eyes! How rare your display!
    Not to lie, if your voice when you sing
    Is as fine as the cut of your wing
    I'll know you're the Phoenix reborn in these woods!"
    At these words the old crow became giddy with pleasure
    And, thinking to prove his voice a treasure,
    He opened his big beak-and promptly dropped the goods.
    Fox pounced upon his prize and said, "My dear, dear sir,
    Learn now that every flatterer
    Lives at the cost of those who give him credit.
    That lesson's worth a cheese no doubt, so don't forget it!"
    The crow, in shame and deep chagrin,
    Swore, a bit late, never again to be taken in.

  7. Yes, PHX-CDG, I often have that effect on pretty women. But then, I may just be flattering...

  8. Oh, dear, some cheese just fell out of my mouth!

  9. LOL Jeff and Phx! We could write a fable just about you two! ;-)

  10. Yes, it's an interesting statue, as if he is regarding the subjects of one of his fables right there at his feet...

    (I had to get that ellipsis in there for some reason.)

    Perhaps Eric could do the same by pointing his camera and saying to the crow, "Smile now for PDP. Say, "...." (You guessed it.)

  11. interesting shot and info, Eric. how are you doing, by the way? :)

  12. ..and every russian (soviet) child has grown up with Ivan Krylov's fables :)
    I didn't know before that he just translated from Fontaine :)

  13. Just goes to show that flattery works a treat!

  14. That cheese was a camembert, right? At least, that's how it's always been depicted... (I am not sure about illustrations from La Fontaine's era, though.)

  15. Tomate, thanks for the text,lovely tale isn´t it?!

    Jeff and PHX-CDG, love your dialogue! agree with Michael, it deserves a modern tale based on you two.

  16. There's some additional translations of the text, even Portuguese, Monica, :-) if you click on the first link Eric provided. I love this photo, Eric. This statue appeals to my inner child. I also think this jardin du R. is quite lovely, green and lush.

  17. Oh nice one. I'd not seen that before. I'll have to go and snout it out. Animal statues would be a great Paris theme, wouldn't it?

  18. Loraine thanks, I´ve noticed there were other languages too. The drawing in the site of the first link is so cute!

  19. I agree, Monica, that one drawing that shows up as you open the link is cute, for sure! I've just spent my afternoon break browsing through "Le site des enfants" under that same link, and I simply ADORE all those illustrations. Like I said earlier, it appeals to my inner child. If you communicate with Lynn, bring this link to her attention. She is quite the artist, and I think she would appreciate it. It reminded me of her little mouse story she was working on at one time.

    And aren't we just the luckiest to have Eric share this information with us? He's de MAN!!! :)