La Fontaine's Fables #14 : The Crow who wants to imitate the Eagle

Note: As the @hivewatchers have decided that I should not copy the fable in French, as it "could be considered exploitation of the 'Hive Reward Pool' and may result in [my] account being Blacklisted", I will no longer show the fable in French, but I will only provide a link for those French-speaking readers that want to read it.

The Crow who wants to imitate the Eagle

In this fable, we have a powerful being, the eagle, acting according to its natural abilities, and another one, much less powerful, the crow, wanting to imitate the eagle.

The crow does not see that he may be in trouble: not only he will not succeed in doing the same task as the eagle, but he will be ruined in the process.

This reminds me of people that want to get rich quickly and that borrow money to buy cryptos at the top. As the price goes down, they are ruined and will no longer be able to invest.

La Fontaine often refers to Latin or Greek mythologies in his fables.

The bird of Jupiter is the eagle. The Latin god Jupiter is the Greek god Zeus.

« The eagle is the patron animal of the ancient Greek god Zeus. In particular, Zeus was said to have taken the form of an eagle in order to abduct Ganymede, and there are numerous artistic depictions of the eagle Zeus bearing Ganymede aloft, from Classical times up to the present »

Polyphemus was one of the Cyclopes described in Homer's Odyssey. Some Greek poets have decided that Polyphemus had a big tangled beard.

In the fable, the verses:

The sheep creature
Weighed more than a cheese;

refer to the fable The Crow and the Fox, where the crow holds a cheese in his beak.


Original French fable: Le Corbeau voulant imiter l’Aigle

The Crow who wants to imitate the Eagle

The bird of Jupiter abducted a sheep.
A crow, witness to the affair,
And weaker in the kidney, but no less voracious,
Wanted to immediately do as much.
He circles around the herd,
And chooses among a hundred sheep the fattest, the most beautiful,
A real sacrificial sheep:
It had been reserved for the mouth of the gods.
Master crow said, brooding over the sheep:
I do not know who your nurse was;
But your body looks lovely to me:
You will be food for me.
On the animal, bleating at these words, he falls.
The sheep creature
Weighed more than a cheese;
His fleece was extremely thick,
And matted pretty much the same way
As the beard of Polyphemus.
It tangled the crow's claws so well,
That the poor animal could not retreat:
The shepherd comes, takes it, cages it well and beautifully,
And gives it to his children to use for amusement.
You have to measure yourself; the consequence is clear:
Evil pushes the birds to want to be thieves.
An example is a dangerous decoy:
Not all people-eaters are great lords;
Where the wasp has passed, the gnat remains.

First Fable: The Circada and the Ant

Previous fables: The Lion and the Rat & The Dove and the Ant

Next Fable: The Lion and the Donkey Hunting

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