Der Hase und der Mond: Namibische Fabeln und Märchen erzählt von Alfred Wellm
. Der Kinderbuchverlag . Berlin
Language note: German
PT1356.W45 1988 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: German
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I have been surprised at how many fables -- and how many known traditional fables -- there are here. The title-story is a good pourquoi story on the source of death. The moon tried to announce to men through a millipede As I die and in dying live, so should you also die and in dying live (13). The millipede moved too slowly for the hare, who hurried to deliver the message to men but said only As the moon dies and in dying wanes, so should you also die and in dying wane. The moon got angry with this poor messenger and tried to strike him. He hit only the upper lip and scratched his own moon-face. So now the hare has a hare-lip and the face of the moon is scratched. But men have to die and in dying wane. In Der Pavian und die Schlange (14-16), the baboon has freed a snake, who then wants to poison him. The jackal is the clever one who gets the situation back to its original state to save the baboon. Der Leopard und der Widder includes an old fable trick: the goat sees the leopard and jackal approach together and calls out So, friend jackal, you've brought me good leopard meat! (24-26). Der Hase und der Löwe is the familiar story of leading a lion to a well to face the other lion who threatens him (30-32). Here, as elsewhere, the lion jumps in and ends up drowning. Vom kranken Löwen, der Hyäne und dem schlauen Schakal is the story usually told of the fox who notices that all footprints enter the cave and none come out (34-36). Here the jackal takes up that role. Wie der Schakal den Löwen überlistete is new to me (37-38): the jackal has tricked the lion many times but is now cornered up against a rocky cliff. He cries for help from the lion. What is up? asks the lion. The cliffs are ready to fall. Come and hold them up while I get a log to hold them up! The lion does that, and the jackal gets away. Der Affe und das Krokodil is the traditional story of leaving one's heart at home (56-58). The art is exceedingly simple. The book closes with some proverbs and a T of C on 63.