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Introduction

Reynard is a cycle of fables largely that tell of a red fox and trickster. The fable figure is thought to have originated in Alsace-Lorraine folklore. From there it spread to France, the Low Countries, and Germany - and quite similar fables are found in other parts of Europe too. Around 1170, Pierre de Saint-Cloud presented the tales.

The Reynard tales have a long history, and the early written sources seem to draw on a previous folk stories about him. By and by many authors use the material. Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales use Reynard material in "The Nun's Priest's Tale, for example.

Reynard appears in books in many languages, in puppet shows and in films.

How the story goes, in short

Reynard is summoned to the court of King Noble, a lion, to answer charges brought against him by the wolf. Other fable animals try to get him killed. That proves more easily said than done, for Reynard tends to outwit his enemies and has his own castle to hide away in too. He has a wife too, Hermeline, but she rarely plays any active part in the stories.

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Reynard the Fox, Reineke, Literature  

Evans, Charles Seddon. Reynard the Fox. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1921.

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