The Crow and the Pitcher: A Tale about Problem Solving
. Reader's Digest Young Families . Pleasantville, NY
PZ8.2.F368 Cr 2007 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Good subtitle! Yes, this fable is about problem-solving. In this version, we find ourselves in a parched desert. There is a pitcher party buried in the sand. Crow and Zebra are both thirsty. Crow realizes that tipping the pitcher over will spill the precious water. Including the zebra has the good effect of giving crow's activity an audience that witnesses the rising level of the water in the pitcher. Zebra is impressed and hopes that Crow can come up with a plan to make the river run again. Crow gets Zebra and other animals to dig for water in the riverbed. She enlists other crows to damn up the resuting water hole. I have never seen this second phase added to the fable. My guess is that the twenty-page format of this series has something to do with this addition. In yet another development, Gazelle had refused to help and went off to find her own water. She returns unsuccessful and learns from the experience, especially since Crow welcomes her back generously. I am not sure that adding these second and third phases strengthens the traditional fable. The zebra is in particular vibrantly illustrated. Also strong is the depiction of the young crows in the nest with wide-open beaks.