The Classic Tales: 4,000 Years of Jewish Lore
. Jason Aronson, Inc. . Northvale, NJ/London
BM530.F68 1993 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book was first printed in hardcover in 1989. I wagered that a fat book with 300 stories would have to include at least one or two fables. I was right. Section 8 has thirteen fables on 459-69: the fables of Berechiah ben Natronai HaNakdan from the end of the twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth centuries. In WC, the wolf promises all he possesses if he is cured. In TMCM, the country mouse goes to Bethlehem, "House of Bread," and enters the granaries there. A man enters once and that is provocation enough for the country mouse to return to security. In LM, the mouse calls his brothers and sisters to help release the lion. "At times a giant may be strangled by a fly." In GA, the ant accuses the cicada of sleeping all summer. The latter counters that listeners said that his songs were sweet. "Go to the rich man and sing." The story of the greedy and envious is here told through two apes who face King Lion. The "monkey mother" fable includes a rationale for taking one and leaving the other and a clear decision by the mother. The attacker here is a leopard. New to me is "The Starling and the Princess." The imprisoned starling asks a traveler to present his plight to a starling and bring back his response. He does present the bird's plight to a fellow starling, and that starling falls over and seems dead. The traveler brings back the story, and the imprisoned starling keels over and is declared dead. The next day, finally outside his cage, he flies away.