Animal Tales 4
Wielligh, G.R. von
. Protea Book House . Pretoria
GR705.V66 2013 v. 4 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here are again spicy stories from South Africa. I have read the first half dozen. Though they are told with fine literary flair, these stories use -- and sometimes combine -- basic fable tropes. Thus the first story has jackal persuade poor wolf to fish with his tail in freezing water. The third story has crab racing well against jackal because he grabs onto jackal's tail and allows himself to be brought to the finish line. Story #6, "Illness in the royal household" (39) has a fable motif; in fact it is very close to a traditional fable except for its ending. King lion needs healing for a sick member of his family. Jackal gets there after wolf -- in this case because Jackal is stealing half of Wolf's Kudu through a false note to Wolf's wife -- and then recommends to the king that the best cure is the skin of a living wolf. The difference in this case is that wolf runs off before he can be skinned -- and returns with his grandmother as the proper victim, whose skin is fortunately no longer needed. Story #12, "Where Turtle came from" (71) includes another fable motif. Tortoise flies across a river when two crows carry him on a stick which he clasps in his mouth while they hold it in their beaks and fly. In this case Tortoise finally answers when a frog addresses him in kindly fashion. He comes splashing down and stays in the water and becomes Turtle. The art is again as creative as the stories. My favorite picture is for that twelfth story on 74. The crazy-shaped chip out of the cover is not a quirk of just this copy. How nice that Wielligh and Blankenaar continue the series!