Bat's Big Game
MacDonald, Margaret Read
. Albert Whitman and Company . Morton Grove, Ill.
PZ8.2.M16 Bat 2008 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This happens to be the six-thousandth book in the collection. There is a short statement on the verso of the title-page about the history of this story. It begins with Aesop and Motif B261.1 in Stith Thompson. The animals and birds are preparing for a soccer game. Bat sees them warming up and decides that the animals are stronger. He joins them. When the birds get a 2-1 lead in the match, Bat decides to join them. Soon the animals are winning 4-3. Bat switches sides again. Bear stops the game and invites the birds and the other animals to gather for a talk. All of them confront Bat and ask which side he is on. I just wanted to play on the winning side, Bat mumbles. The gathered animals all reject him. He gives back both shirts and leaves the field. That's the last time he'll play both sides at once! Good fun.