Young People's Stories of Truthfulness
Billings, Melissa Stone
. Young People's Press, Inc. . San Diego
YPS 9 .
PZ8.1.Y846 Tr 1995 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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There are three stories in this oversized pamphlet. The first, I Never Before Heard of Such a Thing, is from Zaire and is illustrated by Susan Keeter (2). A son has claimed that his trap up in a tree caught a wild pig, when it was really his father's trap on the ground that had caught him. The father sends him home to ask his mother for a special knife, called Iteneinoso or I never before heard of such a thing. Twice the father sends the boy back, claiming that the mother has given him the wrong knife. Finally, mother tumbles to the lie, mentions that pigs do not go up into trees, and asks if the wild pig does not belong to his father. The story praises the father for giving the boy a chance to tell the truth on his own. The second story, Truth and Falsehood, is from Greece and is illustrated by Eldon C. Doty (12). Truth and Falsehood meet at a crossroads and soon establish that the former is struggling, while the latter is thriving. Falsehood promises to show Truth better times, on condition that Truth must not challenge anything that Falsehood says. Falsehood lies his way out of paying a dinner bill, and the two part company forever. The moral asks us, like Truth, to get back on the right path when we have made a mistake. The third story is The Truth from Syria, illustrated by Gwen Connelly (20). A king orders that anyone who tells a lie must pay a large fine. Disguised, the king visits a merchant and asks how old he is, how much he has, and how many children he has. The merchant gives incorrect information in all three answers, and the king orders him punished with the appropriate fine. The man explains that of his seventy years only twenty have been happy. Of his countless riches, he spent the sum he mentioned on building a mosque. Only that is his real wealth. Of his six sons, only one has not broken the commands of Allah. The king praises him for his truthfulness. The moral praises higher truth. There are acknowledgements on 30.