The Fables of Aesop in Scots Verse
. Aulton Press . Peterhead, Scotland
PZ8.2.S74 Fab 1987 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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A delightful large-format book that took some work to get. A casual inquiry at Dillon's uncovered the existence of this book; a call to Dillon's in Aberdeen and the British mail got it to me before our week's conference was over. Stephen has fun with the fables. One mouse, for example, declares that flushing the cat down the toilet would be inhumane (66)! There is a helpful Scots glossary at the end. TH gives a good example of Stephen's morals (15): Slow an steady's better progress/Than the fast, erratic pace;/An ye never ken the winner/Till the feenish o' the race. Good illustrations feature: the hare and tortoise all decked out, including the hare's sneakers and the tortoise's tam o' shanter (9); the surrealistic, modern, disturbing astronomer in the road-work ditch; the frogs playing on their log king (33), wearing kilts and swimsuits and sitting at a frog-dimensioned cocktail table. Some stories are different: an old chairman-of-the-board mouse recommends belling the cat; The Traveller and the River (30) seems to make a fable out of a proverb; FG (52) becomes a short story (five pages long) of difficult travels with a different moral. The grapes may actually be sour when you reach them!