28 THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE.
THE FOX AND THE STORK.
Old Mister Fox was at expense, one day,
To dine old Mistress Stork.
The fare was light, was nothing, sooth to say,
Requiring knife and fork.
That sly old gentleman, the dinner-giver,
Was, you must understand, a frugal liver.
This once, at least, the total matter
Was thinnish soup served on a platter,
For madam's slender beak a fruitless puzzle,
Till all had passed the fox's lapping muzzle.
But, little relishing his laughter.
Old gossip Stork, some few days after,
Returned his Foxship's invitation.
Without a moment's hesitation,
He said he'd go, for he must own he
Ne'er stood with friends for ceremony.
And so, precisely at the hour,
He hied him to the lady's bower;
Where, praising her politeness.
He finds her dinner right nice.
Its punctuality and plenty,
Its viands, cut in mouthfuls dainty,