Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Jean de La Fontaine - 1668

Translated into English
  by Frederick Colin Tilney - 1913

Original title (French):
Le Gland et la Citrouille

Country of origin: France


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English - aligned

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The Acorn and the Pumpkin

Jean de La Fontaine / Frederick Colin Tilney

What God does is done well. Without going round the world to
seek a proof of that, I can find one in the pumpkin.

A villager was once struck with the largeness of a pumpkin and the
thinness of the stem upon which it grew. "What could the Almighty have
been thinking about?" he cried. "He has certainly chosen a bad place for
a pumpkin to grow. Eh zounds! Now I would have hung it on one of these
oaks. That would have been just as it should be. Like fruit, like tree!
What a pity, Hodge," said he, addressing himself, "that you were not on
the spot to give advice at the Creation which the parson preaches
about. Everything would have been properly done then. For instance;
wouldn't this acorn, no bigger than my little finger, be better hanging
on this frail stem? The Almighty has blundered there surely! The more I
think about these fruits and their situations, the more it seems to me
that it is all a mistake."

Becoming worried by so much reflection our Hodge cast himself under an
oak saying, "A man can't sleep when he has so much brain." Then he at
once dropped off into a nap.

Presently an acorn fell plump upon his nose. Starting from sleep, he put
his hand up to see what had happened and found the acorn caught in his
beard, whilst his nose began to pain and bleed. "Oh, oh!" he cried, "I
am bleeding. How would it have been if a heavier mass than this had
fallen from the tree: if this acorn had been a pumpkin? The Almighty did
not intend that, I see. Doubtless he was right. I understand the reason
why perfectly now."

So praising God for all things Hodge took his way home.