Lisa and the Fish and Other African Fables (Cover: Lisa and the Fish and Other African Tales)
Nathaniels, R. C
. The Sheldon Press . London
PZ8.1.N37 La 1937 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is a pamphlet presenting fifteen stories on 64 pages with eight illustrations. Paper wraps. Notice the difference in title between the cover (tales) and title-page (fables). The stories seem to be much more folktales than fables. Many are etiological. Drought and famine constitute a frequent motif. Other motifs include ordeals to prove innocence, attempts to collect overdue debts, and the loss of a child. The stories explain why we cannot squint at the rising sun, why we find spiders under rocks (twice), and why hares run. The closest to fable are The Bush-Cat and the Monkey, (26), The Hyena and the Bush-Cat (27, the best story here), and The Fox and the Crab (48). In this story, the two run a race, in which the crab clings to the fox's tail. The local fowl laugh at the defeated fox, who then chases them. This story explains why hens run from foxes. The cover-story is about a man/fish who becomes Lisa's husband and is shot by her father. As the wife learns her husband's fate, she sinks into the ground up to her neck. Various people come and try to pull her from the ground by grasping her hair, but her hair breaks into pieces. This explains why some people have better hair than others. Good condition.