Burlingame, Eugene Watson (translator)
. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers . Delhi
BL1410.B9 1991 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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First published by Yale University Press in 1922. The first Indian edition was done in 1991. This is a 1994 reprint. Here on 348 pages are some two hundred and twenty Buddhist parables. Some, particularly early parables, have both a canonical and an uncanonical version. I read several to get their flavor. One finds, again particularly among the early materials, several stories that are commonly told, even among Western fables. The Grateful Elephant (1) has several phases but is built on the basic concept of generosity, I would say. Blind Men and Elephant (75) is the story we know well. How Not to Hit an Insect (82) has the common fable theme Better an enemy with sense than a friend without it. The story is like our Bear and the Gardener but uses instead a father and son. The Snake (185) starts from the difference between grasping a snake by its head and grasping it elsewhere. So there is a way to grasp the scriptures aright and way to miss their meaning. Boar and Lion (297) has the key command Eat me, O lion! More than one character in this story offers himself as food for others.