Folk Tales and Fables
Gurrey, Percival (compiler)
. Penguin Books . London
GR350.I8 1953 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Unfortunately, I find no Aesopic fables here in the fifty-two stories that are offered. There is plenty of magic and incantation and trick in these stories. They are from various sources: Yoruba, Isoko, Gold Coast, and Sierra Leone. The introduction stresses that folk tales include jokes, puns, and songs. There are several propositions in the introduction that I may not easily be able to bring together, e.g., that these stories are for entertainment, not morality--but they portray a way of life and a tradition. The issues addressed by the stories include war, slavery, the separation from family that comes with war and slavery, discord in polygamy, childlessness, and famine. The closest to a fable may be #28. The tortoise fools his wife three times but not the fourth time. Another story close to a fable is #29: The tortoise steals yams in a coffin five times, but the sixth time people stop and punish him. Story #35 is really OF with an aetiological close. We learn why frogs say Oho and why they swell up.