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The Bitch And Her Friend

(Recueil 1, Livre 2, Fable 7)



A bitch, that felt her time approaching,

And had no place for parturition,

Went to a female friend, and, broaching

Her delicate condition,

Got leave herself to shut

Within the other's hut.

At proper time the lender came

Her little premises to claim.

The bitch crawled meekly to the door,

And humbly begged a fortnight more.

Her little pups, she said, could hardly walk.

In short, the lender yielded to her talk.

The second term expired; the friend had come

To take possession of her house and home.

The bitch, this time, as if she would have bit her,

Replied, "I'm ready, madam, with my litter,

To go when you can turn me out."

Her pups, you see, were fierce and stout.

The creditor, from whom a villain borrows,

Will fewer shillings get again than sorrows.

If you have trusted people of this sort,

You'll have to plead, and dun, and fight; in short,

If in your house you let one step a foot,

He'll surely step the other in to boot.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 2, Fable 7



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