Fables of Aesop, The | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications. Aesop Fables have Perry classification numbers which have been included in the End Notes to each of the tales. They were also used in the ATU field when no ATU classification was available for a fable. Note that Aesop as an author and Greece as the geographic location for these fables are loose categorizations due to the murky nature of Aesop's Fables in general. Read the Introductory materials to this collection to learn more. For convenience, Aesop and Greece have been used in the classifications for convenience despite the inaccuracies involved.

Fox and the Crow, The

A FOX once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. “That’s for me, as I am a Fox,” said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. “Good-day, Mistress Crow,” he cried. “How well you are looking to-day: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds.” The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. “That will do,” said he. “That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future

”Do not trust flatterers.”


(Ro. i. 15).

Phædrus, i. 13. Probably Indian. There are a couple of Jatakas having the same moral. There is an English proverb: "The Fox praises the meat out of the Crow's mouth." The fable is figured on the Bayeux tapestry. (See Frontispiece to History.) Thackeray makes use of it in his pot pourri of fables in the Prologue to The Newcomes. It is perhaps worth while quoting Professor de Gubernatis's solar myth explanation of the fable in his Zoological Mythology, ii. 251: "The Fox (the Spring aurora) takes the cheese (the Moon) from the Crow (the winter night) by making it sing!"

SurLaLune Note

Perry 124

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Fox and the Crow, The
Tale Author/Editor: Aesop
Book Title: Fables of Aesop, The
Book Author/Editor: Aesop & Jacobs, Joseph
Publisher: Macmillan & Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1902
Country of Origin: Greece
Classification: ATU 57: Raven with Cheese in His Mouth

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