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Fables for the Frivolous

Guy Wetmore Carryl

Book Overview: 

One of the earliest works by the American parodist, Guy Wetmore Carryl, these fables are adapted from Jean de La Fontaine’s original writings. The fables are written in verse, and are light-hearted retellings of fables from two centuries before, each ending with a moral and a pun. Among the more celebrated of the fables are The Persevering Tortoise and the Pretentious Hare, The Arrogant Frog and the Superior Bull, and The Sycophantic Fox and the Gullible Raven.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Promenaded on a green,
  There were twenty-two or three cocks,
    Each as proud as seventeen,
  And a glance, however hasty,
    Showed their plumage to be tasty;
  Wheresoever one was placed, he
    Was a credit to the scene.

  Now their owner had a daughter
    Who, when people came to call,
  Used to say, "You'd reelly oughter
    See them peacocks on the mall."
  Now this wasn't to her credit,
    And her callers came to dread it,
  For the way the lady said it
    Wasn't recherché at all.

  But a jay that overheard it
    From his perch upon a fir
  Didn't take in how absurd it
    Was to every one but her;
  When they answered, "You don't tell us!"
  &nb. . . Read More

Community Reviews

American satirist Guy Wetmore Carryl collection of parodies of Jean de la Fontaine's 17th-century fables (many of which were based on Aesop's fables and other familiar stories) was published in 1898. These snappy smart-alecky retellings are told in rhyming verse complete with morals, and have rather