Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Marie de France - 12CAD

Translated into English

Translated from (Old French):
Dou Chiens et dou Foumaige

Country of origin: France

Story type: Dog Drops his Meat for the Reflection (ATU 34A)

Based on Canis per fluvium carnem ferens (Phaedrus)


English - aligned

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The Dog and the Cheese

Marie de France

It happened long ago, they say:
A dog, crossing a bridge one day,
Was clasping with his teeth some cheese.
Half way across the bridge, he sees
His cheese's shadow in the stream.
Deep in his heart he has this dream:
He'd like that second morsel, too.
Now there's a greedy dog for you!
He jumps right in, opens-his mouth,
And as he does, the cheese falls out!
Shadow it is, shadow he sees,
And that is how he lost his cheese.

So therefore people should take heed
Who are misguided by their greed.
Those who desire more than is just
Will be undone by their own lust.
They'll lose whatever they had before,
And get from others nothing more.