Prasoon, S. K
. Unicorn Books . New Delhi
PA3855.E5 P73 2009 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This paperback book has an unusual shape: about 4¼ wide by 8½ high. The cover features a dramatic picture of BW. Inside are forty fables, as the beginning T of C shows. Up to 74, the fables are two-pages in length. Several three-page fables begin on 74 with An Election Meeting. This fable is new to me. The birds want to elect a king; the birds of prey do not agree. In fact, they swoop down on the election and devour the would-be electors. Since then there is no movement to elect a king of birds. Each fable receives a line-drawing. A small detail-element of the illustration is presented or developed as a tailpiece. New to me among these traditional fables is Courage on 36. City dogs repel invading country dogs until one of the latter stands firm; soon enough the city dogs give in and flee, and the country dogs can invade the city. In Self-exaltation (44), the ass attacks the wolves without the lion as he had with the lion; this time the wolves tear him apart. The Source of Wisdom (48) does the sharing of booty differently from most versions. Here the wolf, fox, and lion catch a stag, a lamb, and a hare. The wolf, asked to divide them up, assigns the stag to the lion, the lamb to himself, and the hare to the fox. The lion, angry, kills him. The fox then assigns the stag to the lion as breakfast, the lamb to the lion for lunch, and the hare to the lion for dinner. Where did you get that wisdom? The source of my wisdom is that dead wolf! Destructive Greed (56) tells of a landlord who likes a tree's fruit so much that he wants it dug up and transplanted in his own yard. Plenty of people advise him not to do it. He does it anyway, and the tree dies. Theft and Watchman (58) takes an unusual approach to the old fable of the blind and lame. Here the two team up to steal fruit when they are supposed to be watchmen! Adjust with Time (77) presents a king who can laugh over the adjustment he has to make. Earlier, it took several camels to carry his kitchen. Now one dog, which cannot shake off the pot into which he put his head, carries his whole kitchen. A small colored illustration of this fable is on the back cover. MM on 90 features a young woman carrying eggs rather than milk.