Aesop's Fables: The King Bruce and the Spider and other stories
. Dreamland Publications . Delhi
DRMLND 13 .
PZ8.2.A254 1997 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is an 8½ x 11 presentation of seven fables. The King Bruce and the Spider is new to me. Taking an example from a spider that has fallen sixteen times but succeeds on the seventeenth try, Robert Bruce tries and tries again to rewin his Kingdom of Scotland. He finally succeeds. The Three Painters concerns a painting contest won on the basis of the best trompe l'oeil art. The moral is surprising: The whole show of this world is an illusion. Divine Help presents Chandan the carter interacting with, not Hercules, but God Himself, who appears in Indian form. This telling of the tale is positive, and the god is encouraging to this good man. The Silver Key is another new story. An inn-keeper claims that he cannot open the locked door without a silver key. The traveler slips a one-rupee coin under the door, and the inn-keeper opens. Then the traveler mentions his luggage outside. When the inn-keeper steps out to get the luggage, the traveler closes and locks the door and says he needs the silver key to open it…. Three Friends and a Bag of Gold is Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale but there is no mention here of meeting death. DLS now has a monkey rather than a donkey. He terrifies villagers for months. A wise old man notices that he neither roars nor growls and that he has killed no one. The villagers beat the monkey to death! The booklet misses a chance to have more fun with the visual possibilities of a monkey-lion. The Equal Share may not be a fable. It is the old story--from Herodotus?--of the fisherman who wants to deliver a much-wished fish to a rich master. The watchman at the door demands half the reward, or he will not let the fisherman in. Once inside and asked what he wants for a reward, the fisherman asks for a flogging rather than money, so that the watchman who cheated him will have to be flogged too!