A Subtle Distinction

“A fox is subtlety itself”, Aristophanes wrote.

“A fox is subtlety itself”
Aristophanes wrote.
We know that he was
a playwright of note.
But Aesop, the fabulist,
had very little regard
for that wild creature,
the shifty Reynard.
He describes the beast
as cunning but never,
in many of his tales,
he says that he’s clever.
Take for instance
the behaviour that
the protagonists show
in the ‘Fox and the Cat’.
The former’s ploys
from which he can pick
are more than the latter’s
who has just one trick.
Chased by hunters,
the cat climbs a tree,
the fox, undecided,
is stuck and can’t flee.
In other fables
got himself into scrapes
like the episode
of the Fox and the Grapes.
Couldn’t reach the fruit
as it was far too high;
“no matter, it’s sour”
he was heard to cry.
© Luigi Pagano 2021

© ionicus 2023
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If you are referring to Aesop’s dismissal of the tales of, la Reynarde. I think he missed the point.

Nous Reynarde was a trickster, a crafty killer using and abusing many of his associates including his own cousin Isengrim the wolf. As you know the tales Reynarde are well documented in Medieval French, Flemish, Dutch and German folklore.

Rather unkindly IMHO


Chased by hunters,
the car climbs a tree,

Now, Luigi, even with your admirable inventive mind, this is just too fabulous!

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