Dimiter Inkiow erzaehlt: Die Katze laesst das Mausen nicht und andere Fabeln des Aesop
. Franz Schneider Verlag . Munich ,
PZ34.2.I533 Kat 1991 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book turns out to be an earlier edition of a book I have from Lentz Verlag in 1999: Aesops Fabeln. This edition is larger, includes colored art (by Thomas Buttkus) and differs slightly in its selection of fables. It seems to add about six fables to those in the later edition and to lack about four that appear there. I will repeat my extensive comments from there. This is a refreshing edition with new fables and good twists on old ones. There are two surprising elements in the opening presentation of Aesop's life, which is carefully declared to be quite uncertain. First, Aesop is supposed to have made the declaration of what is worst and what is noblest in the world to his Master Croesus by sticking his tongue out--and so to have won his freedom. Buttkus illustrates this story nicely with two mirror-opposite colored images of Aesop sticking out his tongue on 14 and 15. And Croesus is supposed to have falsely accused Aesop of having stolen a golden cup--in order to force him back to being a slave, since the death penalty for robbery for a free man is death but for a slave is at the discretion of his master. Aesop is supposed to have refused and climbed up a peak to throw himself down voluntarily, and many friends and admirers accompanied him (in the climb or in the suicide?). T of C at the front. Athene, not Aphrodite, is the goddess involved in Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht (18) and the retransformation is announced beforehand as the punishment if she pursues mice after the change. Buttkus gives a very dramatic image of a pouncing cat in nightgown ready to fall on the mouse just before us on the full-page illustration (19). A very nice eagle tries to dissuade the tortoise from flying but cannot do it (24). New to me: Ein Fisch, eine Amsel, ein Krebs und ein Geldbeutel (31); the fable works generally like Krylov's story of three like creatures trying to haul a wagon. Exhausted by trying to pull the wallet or bag away from each other, they decide to divide it up, but then cannot decide where to divide it--until the man who lost it comes and puts it back into his pocket. The fox here asks the crow to sing the beautiful song that he sang yesterday (38), and the crow opens his mouth to ask Which? Two crows put stones into a half-filled milk pitcher (41). An older and a younger fox try to get the grapes (53); when they cannot, the older one convinces the younger that they are sour. The fox in FS (57) is miserly and so immediately regrets his invitation. After considering many possibilities for avoiding feeding the stork, he decides to spread his Haferbrei very thinly on the plates but then to offer himself the same time after time when he has licked his plate clean. The lion's share (64) comes when the group robs all the patrons in a Gasthaus. TH (73) is about the difference between enjoying things along the way as the tortoise does and getting there fast as the hare does; there is no race. The hen lays a golden egg every Sunday (87). The Rhodes-jumper (92) has related a whole series of hard-to-believe experiences before he gets to his record-setting leap.