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The Acorn and the Pumpkin

(Recueil 2, Livre 9, Fable 4)



God's works are good. This truth to prove

Around the world I need not move;

I do it by the nearest pumpkin.

"This fruit so large, on vine so small,"

Surveying once, exclaimed a bumpkin

"What could He mean who made us all?

He's left this pumpkin out of place.

If I had ordered in the case,

On that oak it should have hung

A noble fruit as ever swung

To grace a tree so firm and strong.

Indeed, it was a great mistake,

As this discovery teaches,

That I myself did not partake

His counsels whom my curate preaches.

All things had then in order come;

This acorn, for example,

Not bigger than my thumb,

Had not disgraced a tree so ample.

The more I think, the more I wonder

To see outraged proportion's laws,

And that without the slightest cause;

God surely made an awkward blunder."

With such reflections proudly fraught,

Our sage grew tired of mighty thought,

And threw himself on Nature's lap,

Beneath an oak, to take his nap.

Plump on his nose, by lucky hap,

An acorn fell: he waked, and in

The matted beard that graced his chin,

He found the cause of such a bruise

As made him different language use.

"O! O!" he cried; "I bleed! I bleed!

And this is what has done the deed!

But, truly, what had been my fate,

Had this had half a pumpkin's weight!

I see that God had reasons good,

And all his works well understood."

Thus home he went in humbler mood.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 9, Fable 4



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