Le perroquet – The Parrot – A French Fable by Florian with Recording

Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755-1794) was a French poet and romance writer. Nowadays, he’s chiefly known for his pretty fables for children.


We present to you a recording of Florian’s fable called “Le perroquet” (The Parrot), along with the original French text and an English translation…

MP3 Recording of Le perroquet by Florian

Le perroquet
By Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian

Un gros perroquet gris, échappé de sa cage,
Vint s’établir dans un bocage :
Et là, prenant le ton de nos faux connoisseurs,
Jugeant tout, blâmant tout, d’un air de suffisance,
Au chant du rossignol il trouvoit des longueurs,
Critiquoit surtout sa cadence.
Le linot, selon lui, ne savoit pas chanter ;
La fauvette auroit fait quelque chose peut-être,
Si de bonne heure il eût été son maître
Et qu’elle eût voulu profiter.
Enfin aucun oiseau n’avoit l’art de lui plaire ;
Et dès qu’ils commençoient leurs joyeuses chansons,
Par des coups de sifflet répondant à leurs sons,
Le perroquet les faisoit taire.
Lassés de tant d’affronts, tous les oiseaux du bois
Viennent lui dire un jour : mais parlez donc, beau sire,
Vous qui sifflez toujours, faites qu’on vous admire ;
Sans doute vous avez une brillante voix,
Daignez chanter pour nous instruire.
Le perroquet, dans l’embarras,
Se gratte un peu la tête, & finit par leur dire :
Messieurs, je siffle bien, mais je ne chante pas.

English Translation by Mama Lisa:

The Parrot

A big, grey parrot, escaped from his cage,
Settled in a grove
And there, taking the tone of our false connoisseurs,
Judging everything, disapproving of everything, with an air of self-importance,
In the song of the nightingale, he found monotonous parts,
Criticizing especially its rhythm.
The linnet, according to him, couldn’t sing;
The warbler may have done something about it,
If early on he would have been her teacher
And if she would have taken advantage of it.
At any rate no bird had the art of pleasing him
And as soon as they began their joyous songs,
Responding to their sounds with whistles
The parrot silenced them.
Tired of so many insults, all the birds of the woods
One day say to him: But speak then good sire,
You always whistle, let us admire you;
No doubt you have a superb voice,
Stoop to singing and instruct us.
The parrot, in embarrassment,
Scratches his head a little, and ends up saying to them:
Gentlemen, I whistle well, but I do not sing.

Recited by Sonia.

This article was posted on Friday, May 4th, 2018 at 4:22 pm and is filed under Authors, Belgium, Canada, Countries & Cultures, Fables, Fables by Florian, France, French, Languages, Mama Lisa, MP3's, Recordings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Le perroquet – The Parrot – A French Fable by Florian with Recording”

  1. andrea Says:

    that’s great

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