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The City Rat and the Country Rat

(Recueil 1, Livre 1, Fable 9)



A city rat, one night,

Did, with a civil stoop,

A country rat invite

To end a turtle soup.

On a Turkey carpet

They found the table spread,

And sure I need not harp it

How well the fellows fed.

The entertainment was

A truly noble one;

But some unlucky cause

Disturbed it when begun.

It was a slight rat-tat,

That put their joys to rout;

Out ran the city rat;

His guest, too, scampered out.

Our rats but fairly quit,

The fearful knocking ceased.

"Return we," cried the cit,

To finish there our feast.

"No," said the rustic rat;

"Tomorrow dine with me.

I'm not offended at

Your feast so grand and free,

"For I have no fare resembling;

But then I eat at leisure,

And would not swap, for pleasure

So mixed with fear and trembling."

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 1, Fable 9



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