The Fox and the Cheese

On a tree sat a crow that was eating at ease,
Thus up out of reach, a choice bit of cheese.
When along came a fox who thought, "Now all my wit
I must bring into play to secure that fine bit.
Very well do I know that all creatures are vain;
And this knowledge now I must turn to my gain."
So, approaching the tree, in sweet accents he said:
"Mistress Crow, what fine feathers adorn your fine head,
With your glossy black plumage 'tis easily seen,
That over all birds you are certainly queen;
Should you grant me the favor of hearing your voice,
How my heart in wild rapture would ever rejoice!"
The crow, full of joy at hearing such praise,
At once tried to sing him her sweetest of lays,
When down fell the cheese straight on to the earth,
Where the fox ate it up with much laughter and mirth.
To those who will heed it, this lesson intends
To show that who flatter but seek their own ends.

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