- The Lion in Love
- The Shepherd and the Sea
- The Fly and the Ant
- The Gardener And His Lord
- The Ass and the Little Dog
- The Battle of the Rats and Weasels
- The Monkey and the Dolphin
- The Man and the Wooden God
- The Jay In The Feathers of the Peacock
- The Camel and the Floating Sticks
- The Frog and the Rat
- The Animals Sending Tribute To Alexander
- The Horse Wishing To Be Revenged On The Stag
- The Fox and the Bust
- The Wolf, the Mother, And Her Child
- The Words Of Socrates
- The Old Man And His Sons
- The Oracle and the Atheist
- The Miser Who Had Lost His Treasure
- The Eye of the Master
- The Lark And Her Young Ones With The Owner Of A Field
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It was the custom of the Greeks
For passengers over sea to carry
Both monkeys full of tricks
And funny dogs to make them merry.
A ship, that had such things on deck,
Not far from Athens, went to wreck.
But for the dolphins, all had drowned.
They are a philanthropic fish,
Which fact in Pliny may be found;
A better voucher who could wish?
They did their best on this occasion.
A monkey even, on their plan
Well nigh attained his own salvation;
A dolphin took him for a man,
And on his dorsal gave him place.
So grave the silly creature’s face,
That one might well have set him down
That old musician of renown.
The fish had almost reached the land,
When, as it happened,—what a pity!
He asked, “Are you from Athens grand?”
“Yes; well they know me in that city.
If ever you have business there,
I’ll help you do it, for my kin
The highest offices are in.
My cousin, sir, is now lord mayor.”
The dolphin thanked him, with good grace,
Both for himself and all his race,
And asked, “You doubtless know Piraeus,
Where, should we come to town, you’ll see us.”
“Piraeus? yes, indeed I know;
He was my crony long ago.”
The dunce knew not the harbour’s name,
And for a man’s mistook the same.
The people are by no means few,
Who never went ten miles from home,
Nor know their market-town from Rome,
Yet cackle just as if they knew.
The dolphin laughed, and then began
His rider’s form and face to scan,
And found himself about to save
From fishy feasts, beneath the wave,
A mere resemblance of a man.
So, plunging down, he turned to find
Some drowning wight of human kind.
The Monkey and the Dolphin – Jean de La Fontaine Fables – Book 4