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The Hen With The Golden Eggs

(Recueil 1, Livre 5, Fable 13)



How avarice loses all,

By striving all to gain,

I need no witness call

But him whose thrifty hen,

As by the fable we are told,

Laid every day an egg of gold.

"She has a treasure in her body,"

Bethinks the avaricious noddy.

He kills and opens—vexed to find

All things like hens of common kind.

Thus spoiled the source of all his riches,

To misers he a lesson teaches.

In these last changes of the moon,

How often does one see

Men made as poor as he

By force of getting rich too soon!

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 5, Fable 13



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