The Animals of Aesop: Aesop's Fables Adapted and Pictured
Mora, Joseph J.
. Dana Estes and Co. . Boston
PZ8.2.A254Mora 1900 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is a slightly different copy of a book with the same date, title, and publisher. I will repeat the comments from that copy after mentioning the differences. This book has not a colored cover with five trousered animalsl laughing but a simpler cover with the green and black frontispiece of animals listening to a satyr by moonlight. That picture is the frontispiece in both copies. This copy lacks the lovely colored illumination strip just inside the edge of both covers. Like the other copy, this copy has red ink for the information on the title-page, but the date (1900) has been removed from the title page. Both copies have a copyright date of 1900 on the verso of the title-page. This copy finally does not make the pagination mistake noted in the other copy concerning pages 39-40. The first colored illustration page is loose but still present. Otherwise the copies seem identical. As I wrote then, I have been looking hard for this book since Ash and Higton featured it in their 1990 "Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition." It now proves to be worth the hunting! Mora writes a moving introduction on his loss of the dream-like contact with Animaldom that he cherished in his youth. There follow one hundred fables in a very regular pattern of a prose text embellished with figures on the left page and a full-page black-and-white (and sometimes colored) illustration on the right. The very first illustration is typical: a lamb dressed as a maiden sees through and rejects the pleading for a drink by a trouser-and-shoe-wearing wolf lying exhausted on the ground. The ass and the lapdog are owned by a hippo, who experiences the former's unwelcome attentions in a hammock! In fact, Mora always substitutes animals for humans. He enjoys spicing up a tale. Thus it is a puma who receives a horse's kick (18); his jaw swells up so greatly that it is mistaken for mumps, and he has to miss a lawn party for which he has had a date with Miss Reynard! For the first time, I see made into a fable the episode from the life of Aesop on drinking up the ocean (34). CP has a good moral that is new to me: "Little and often does the trick" (46). Instead of a MM, we have a squirrel upsetting her basket of nuts from a log when she kicks up her heels (48). The dissatisfied buck is polishing his antlers in a hedge when they get caught (50). The story about a mule reflecting on its parentage changes when it is a woman working at a swell job and standing before her mirror (76)! The satyr and traveller become, respectively, a bear and a jackal (88). "The Differing Humours" (96) is new to me. This DLS illustration (104) is excellent! This stork serves up his meal in "long-necked jars that were fastened to the floor" (124). The dancing fish actually answer the piper's question about their dancing now but not earlier (128). The owl offers the loud grasshopper an invitation not to drink something, but rather to hear the Nightingale's compliment about the grasshopper's singing (144). I am happy to see an old friend of a story that does not get told as much as it deserves: "The Mastiff and the Curs" (208) with its great punch line: "If there were no Curs in this world, you would not be an Aristocrat." For great sets of illustrations, try "The Unwelcome Lodger" (126), "The Fatal Courtship" (132), and "The Lovesick Lion" (196). Colored illustrations are on 25, 39, 55, 69, 83, 96, 111, 125, 139, 153, 167, 181, 193, and 207. Mora likes to depict animals winking. There is a T of C at the front.