"The Pike" by Ivan Andreevich Krilov (1768-1844)
Krilov wrote a total of 201 poetic fables, of which (according to Krilov) only 30 were borrowed from other authors. Beginning as a translator of foreign verse, he then proceeded into the rich field of Russian life. In his own works, he displayed his skill as a storyteller and his flair for terseness, genial humor, and satire. His popularity was immense in his own day, and continues today.
The accusation of the Pike was sent to the local court,
Nobody could live with her in the pond,
A lot of convincing evidence was given,
The guilty was carried to the court in a big wash-tub,
The judges were pasturing nearby,
Their names were entered into the records,
The judges were two donkeys, two wretched nags,
And two or three he-goats,
The sly Fox was elected to be the public prosecutor,
It was rumored that the Pike supplied the Fox with fish,
Though the judges didn't like each other,
They had to punish the Pike.
Soon the decree was ready,
It was decided that the Pike would be executed
She must be hung on a tree branch,
In order to frighten all the other swindlers.
Suddenly the Fox said:
It isn't enough to hang the Pike,
She deserves a more stringent punishment,
So that we may frighten all other swindlers!
The Pike must be drowned in the river!"
"Excellent!" exclaimed all the judges.
So, it was decided unanimously to drown the Pike,
And the Pike was drowned in the upshot.