Reynard the Fox divides the spoils

Putting the kids to sleep I came across a version of the Aesop’s tale of the Lion, The Donkey and the Fox in The Romance of Reynard the Fox. The Donkey is replaced by a wolf who divides the spoils in three and is skinned by the King Lion for his audacity. The Lion then instructs Reynard to divide the game they had caught. Reynard tells the King he may have it all. But the King is angered by this response as well. The Lion says:

Rogue! I’m the king and born to punish greed.
Do you propose I purloin others’ rights?
My duty bids me rather restore loss
Than have it said I pilfer others’ wealth.
Share out this common booty! And indeed
I only claim what you rule mine by right.

Reynard then splits the meat and bone into three parts but they are all for the King, the Queen and their offspring. Only a foot he sets aside for himself. The King is at last pleased.


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