Some beast with horns did gore
The lion; and that sovereign dread,
Resolved to suffer so no more,
Straight banish’d from his realm, ’tis said,
All sorts of beasts with horns—
Rams, bulls, goats, stags, and unicorns.
Such brutes all promptly fled.
A hare, the shadow of his ears perceiving,
Could hardly help believing
That some vile spy for horns would take them,
And food for accusation make them.
“Adieu,” said he, “my neighbour cricket;
I take my foreign ticket.
My ears, should I stay here,
Will turn to horns, I fear;
And were they shorter than a bird’s,
I fear the effect of words.”
“These horns!” the cricket answer’d; “why,
God made them ears who can deny?”
“Yes,” said the coward, “still they’ll make them horns,
And horns, perhaps, of unicorns!
In vain shall I protest,
With all the learning of the schools:
My reasons they will send to rest
In th’ Hospital of Fools.”
The Ears of the Hare – Jean de La Fontaine Fables – Book 5