What Is the Summary of “Chanticleer and the Fox”?

“Chanticleer and the Fox” is about a rooster named Chanticleer and a fox named Reynard who tries to lure the rooster away from the farm house and have him for dinner. While Chanticleer is initially wary of the fox, he soon gives in after the fox showers him with flattery, telling him how much he wants to hear Chanticleer sing to fool him into singing with his eyes closed. Chanticleer eventually escapes from the fox but only after learning not to fall for easy flattery.

The origin of “Chanticleer and the Fox” is uncertain, although one theory is that it’s an adaptation of Aesop’s “The Fox and The Crow.” The earliest version of this narrative was written in Latin in the 11th century by Ademar de Chabannes and focuses on a partridge instead of a rooster who uses the same ruse to escape from the jaws of the fox.

Around 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a longer version of the narrative that became part of the Nun’s Priest’s Tale in “The Canterbury Tales.” This story was retold in modern English by Barbara Cooney in a children’s storybook published in 1958. It included Cooney’s own artwork and earned the Caldecott Medal for Illustration in 1959.