The Oak & the Nettle
. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge/E. & J.B. Young & Co. . London/NY
PZ8.2.A537 Oak 1857 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
MetadataShow full item record
Here is the kind of surprise that fuels this collection. First, there is clearly a series of fable booklets of which I had known nothing. How many others are there? Second, this booklet presents a different pattern from those to which I am accustomed. It presents one fable and is illustrated by alternating a pair of beautifully colored full-page illustrations with a pair of monochrome illustrations. This heavily didactic fable is new to me. An old man and a boy walk through the woods. The boy wants to throw stones at all the living things moving about. The man asks the boy, if he is so strong, to pull up an oak tree. When it is clear that he cannot, the man gives him an easier task: to pull up a nettle by its roots. I could if I could borrow gloves. The man tells him to let both tasks go. They were set to him to show him how it is with bad habits. Whether old like the oak or recent like the nettle, they are hard to uproot. The boy responds with a nice image: a bad habit is like a pair of tight boots. We have to struggle hard to get out of them. The booklet is inscribed Wilfred with a date that some hand has deciphered as 1857. Was chromolithography sufficiently advanced in 1857 to produce this kind of a booklet? The booklet is in good condition.