La Fontaine, L'estrange, and Croxall
Jean De La Fontaine: A noted fabulist who wrote in France in the 1660s and 1670s. His variant in this collection is one of the few that concerns rats rather than mice. Several writers have observed that he employs a more playful and free-flowing style than other fabulists in the 17th and 18th century. Compare the text here with others and see if you agree.
Roger L'Estrange: Writing in the 1690s in Britain, L'Estrange used a distinctive style heavy on British slang. His unconventional word choice makes works borrowed from him easy to spot ("Rusty Oatmeal" is a dead giveaway you're dealing with a L'Estrange derivative, as with (6) ).
Samuel Croxall: Croxall's 1722 version of the fable appears to be the most influential fable in the entire collection, it's borrowed in so many other variations that it would be difficult to list them here, but compare three extremely different examples: (26) (4) and (43). Croxall himself borrows from L'estrange (see above). Croxall's version and some that borrow from it come with VERY long morals, which is to be expected as Croxall was a man of the cloth.