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La Grenouille qui veut se faire aussi grosse que le Bœuf
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The Frog Who Would Be as Big as an Ox

A Frog had an Ox in her view;
His bulk, to her, appeared ideal.
She, not even as large, all in all, as an egg hitherto,
Envious, stretched, swelled, strained, in her zeal
To match the beast in overall size,
Saying, "Sister, lend me your eyes.
Is this enough? Am I not yet there, in every feature?"
"Nope." "Then now?" "No way." "There now, as good as first?"
"You’re not anywhere near." The diminutive creature
Inflated still more, till she burst.

The world is full of folk who are as far from being sages.
Every city gent would build chateaux like Louis Quatorze;
Every petty prince names ambassadors,
Every marquis wants to have pages.


English translations reprinted from The Complete Fables of Jean de la Fontaine
by Norman B. Spector, with permission from the Northwestern University Press;
La Fontaine et La Cuisine, Chicago/Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French
with the Assistance of the Multimedia Learning Center, Northwestern University