. Pied Piper Books . NY ,
PZ8.1.A536 1946 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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The inside of this book has separated from its covers. Other than that, it is in remarkable condition for its age. These are more Russian folktales than fables, but they use fable motifs. Ivan and the Fox has a captured fox offering the capturing peasant the Czar's daughter. By clever manipulations, the fox carries through on his promise. The Farmer and the Bear is actually a set of fables based on the choice of front or back, top or bottom. The farmer fools the bear by getting the bear to lead when they plow. When the bear takes the top, the farmer plants potatoes; when the bear takes the bottom, the farmer plants wheat. When the bear takes top and bottom but not middle, they encounter a bee hive. The bear gets the swarming bees and the farmer gets the honey. Finally they rest. When it is the bear's turn to watch and the farmer's to sleep, the bear kills a fly by bouncing a big ripe watermelon on the farmer's head! Fish Tree and Rabbit Brook is about a clever peasant who finds a huge treasure but fears his gossipy wife's talking about it. So he hangs a fish from a tree and puts a rabbit into his fishing basket. When he tells his wife about his good fortune, he tells her that it is near a fish tree and a rabbit brook. Sure enough, they refind it and head home. She starts to use up all the treasure. He refuses to finance more. She goes to the mayor, apparently to divorce him. All the people gather. In the process, the husband denies any knowledge of treasure and gets the wife to tell details of the lucky find, especially the fish tree and rabbit brook. People laugh at her and do not take her seriously. His treasure is secure. They never believe her gossip again. Delightful colored illustrations alternate with pages of black-and-white.