Page:La Fontaine - The Original Fables Of, 1913.djvu/42

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X

THE DAIRY-WOMAN AND THE PAIL OF MILK

(Book VII.—No. 10)

A young country woman named Perrette set out one morning from her little dairy-farm with a pail of milk, which she cleverly balanced upon her head over a pad or cushion. She hurried with sprightly steps to the market town, and so that she might be the less encumbered, wore a kirtle that was short and light—in truth a simple petticoat—and shoes low and easy. As she went, her thoughts ran upon the price to be gained for her milk, and she schemed a way to lay out the sum in the purchase of one hundred eggs. She was sure that with care and diligence these would yield three broods. "It would be quite easy to me," she said, "to raise the chicks near the house. The fox would be clever who would not leave me enough to buy one pig. A pig would fatten at the cost of a little bran, and when he had grown a fair size I should make a bargain of him for a good round sum. And then, considering the price he will fetch, what is to prevent my putting into our stable a cow and a calf? I can fancy how the calf will frisk about among the sheep!" Thereupon Perrette herself frisked for joy, transported with the picture of her affluence. Over toppled the

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