Stories from the Panchatantra: Ancient Stories with Moral Values or Fables
Lyons, Esther Mary
. Books for All: Low Price Publications , distributed by D K Publishers P Ltd. . New Delhi
PK3741.P3 L96 2002 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here a splashy red cover leads to twenty Panchatantra fables. A frame story on 7 and 51 gives the context. Children ask a teacher for stories, and she obliges with the Panchatantra. She seems solicitous along the way to explain old Indian customs to the children. One of them comments on 51 that life has changed since then and that her teacher helps to explain the differences well as she reads. There are simple black-and-white designs, usually two to each story. New to me is The Singing Donkey (27). The donkey thief is so pleased with his stolen cucumbers that he must sing, and of course his singing draws the night-watchman. The fox lures the ass to the lion by promising him a bride (54). To get him back the second time, he declares that the creature he encountered in the cave was his bride. The fox eats the ass' ears and brain and explains later that he never had any, if he was foolish enough to come back a second time. Less well known is The Cobra-Son and the Daughter-in-Law (57); the wife is clever enough to burn the cobra box during a brief interlude in which her husband is human. The rabbit and partridge come to the cat for judgment over the home that the latter had left and the former moved into. The cat eats both. Here it is a mosquito that barges in on the good life of the bugs living in the king's bed (109). The pictures of the cobra man on 58 and 62 are too good to miss! Notice the typo Offcourse for Of course on 51. There is confusion in line 5 of 98. The lion, not the camel, needs to speak this line, as the next paragraph presumes.