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Jean de La Fontaine

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Hello everyone!
I hope you are well.


Today I would like to talk about a very important person in French culture and literature: Jean de La Fontaine. Jean de la Fontaine is a famous 17th century writer known for his Fables.

Fables are short stories, a literary genre known since antiquity that mainly features animals.
If I tell you: “The crow and the fox”; “The cicada and the ant”; “The lion and the rat”; “The frog that wanted to be bigger than the ox” … Do you know them? They are from Jean de La Fontaine!


Jean de La Fontaine

The writer had a mocking style and used animals to mock the society of his time. The characteristics of animals were used to underline the faults of humans. For example, a cunning fox, a conceited lion or a non-working cicada.

He lived during the time of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Even though Jean de la Fontaine was talented, the King didn’t like him at all because at the beginning of his career Jean de la Fontaine had chosen the protection of the wrong person. But this did not prevent his popular success :).


Now that you know a little more about Jean de La Fontaine, I suggest you have fun discovering these fables.



La cigale et la fourmi 🐜

La Cigale, ayant chanté
Tout l’Été,
Se trouva fort dépourvue
Quand la bise fut venue.
Pas un seul petit morceau
De mouche ou de vermisseau.
Elle alla crier famine
Chez la Fourmi sa voisine,
La priant de lui prêter
Quelque grain pour subsister
Jusqu’à la saison nouvelle.
Je vous paierai, lui dit-elle,
Avant l’Oût, foi d’animal,
Intérêt et principal.
La Fourmi n’est pas prêteuse ;
C’est là son moindre défaut.
« Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud ?
Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse.
— Nuit et jour à tout venant
Je chantais, ne vous déplaise.
— Vous chantiez ? j’en suis fort aise.
Eh bien !dansez maintenant. »


The cicada and the ant 🐜

“The Cicada, having sung
All Summer,
Found herself very deprived
When the chill wind came.
Not a single little piece
Of fly or worm.
She went to cry famine
At the ant’s house, her neighbor,
Asking him to lend her
Some grain to subsist on
Until the new season.
I will pay you, she said,
Before the summer, in the name of an animal,
Interest and principal.
The Ant is not a lender;
That is his least fault.
“What were you doing in the hot weather?
She said to this borrower.
– Night and day to all comers
I was singing, if you don’t mind.
– You were singing? I’m very happy.
Well, dance now.”











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