The Bear and the Travellers and The Ducks and the Tortoise
. Award Publications Limited . London
BAW 5 .
PZ8.2.B57 Be 2002 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This volume seems to belong to the set from which I already have two other volumes, but the three booklets are printed by different companies. See The Ass in the Pond by Ginn in 1984/85 and The Eagle and the Man by the Wright Group in 1986. Here two volumes are grouped together in a large 8½ x 9½ pamphlet. Each page contains a head-line which repeats above the illustration part of what will be written just below it on the same page. Apparently this method is meant to offer help to the intended audience of first readers, mentioned on the back cover. TB has an older and a younger friend. The latter forsakes the former. The bear surprises them at very close range and chases them. Does not this element hurt the story when the chasing bear comes upon one of the two men suddenly dead? The old man is offering his staff as a weapon for the young man to use when the latter climbs up into the tree. Biro's illustrations have fun with the story. The inciting element in TT is not drought or any other danger but the tortoise's desire to fly. Whereas the tortoise in many versions of this story opens his mouth to say something harsh in response to the crowd, the tortoise here opines that the people below must think that he is very clever. Apparently the thump of his fall does no permanent damage to the tortoise.