Shadow of the Donkey
. Shanti Publications . Delhi
Shanti 9 .
PZ8.2.I533 Sha 2013 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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One of twenty in the series, found near the counter as we were settling up a large order of books. I find two surprises in the version of this traditional story offered here. First, usually one man has hired another man's donkey, and the second man comes along on the trip; or else the first man has hired the second man and his donkey. Here two travellers are walking with a donkey for a long time. There is no attempt to have the donkey belong to either or both. The second surprise comes when the text clearly states that the donkey, like the first man, sits down. The illustrations never show the donkey sitting! Besides that, a sitting donkey would offer less of the shadow about which the argument starts. In this version, the men get into fighting with each other and the donkey makes off while they are thus distracted. Moral: Foolishness never pays. Slick computer-generated art on sixteen pages of a pamphlet.