Aesop's Fables: The Crow and the Serpent and Other Stories
. Shree Book Centre . Mumbai, India
PZ8.2.B36Ae 2012 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book seems to be the third in a series of twenty books, thirteen of which present Aesop's fables. That is surprising, since the book contains sixty fables. Most series present only some one hundred fables; this series must be presenting 780 of them! A special feature of this book is its purple titles and morals. Also, each fable has an animated black-and-white cartoon. There is a T of C on 5-7. A test of the first few fables finds the tellings sometimes slipshod or at least curious. In The Monkeys and Their Mother (10), the story goes out of its way to make the point that a neglected baby usually grows weak and dies. In this case, he becomes strong. There is no crisis and no flight from a predator. The mother asks the weaker baby how he grew strong. I have a strong will to live. Close enough, but the old fable is gone. Similarly, Jupiter gives a strange answer to Minerva when she chooses the olive: To avoid any quarrels, we chose trees that don't bear any fruits (17). I think the original fable stresses Athena's attention to effectiveness and practicality while other gods are attracted only to beauty. Jupiter's strange comment undercuts the surprising wisdom of her choice. The cover features a man in a boat with a snake, crow, and lamb on the shore. The title-fable is on 27 and does not include either the lamb or the man in the boat. The back cover lists the other volumes in the Shree Timeless Fables series. Is that a bald Aesop on the title-page and in the cover's boat?