365 Successful Fables: The Treasure in the Grape Grove
365 Successful Fables: The Treasure in the Grape Grove. Paperbound. Taiwan: 365 Successful Fables: You Fu Culture Co. Ltd. $10 from Jeremy Weiss, Sleepy Hollow, NY, through eBay, Sept., '12. FW 8. The first four tracks of each disc present the stories a paragraph at a time with alternating Chinese and English. The next four use only Mandarin. Tracks 9 through 12 present the four stories in English. Track 13 is a vocabulary and pronunciation exercise. The speakers tend to exaggerate throughout. There are plentiful sound effects along with a generous musical background.
The four fables presented and illustrated in this volume are: "The Treasure In the Grape Garden"; "The Wolf and The Egret"; "The Host and His Friend"; and "The Crow and The Fox." The dying father in the first fable tells his sons "There is something precious under my grape garden." "My" is well said, but is "under" also well said? "There is no free lunch in the world" returns as moral from another fable. The second fable substitutes an egret for the usual crane. The wolf here is "chocked" by a bone. Might that be "choked"? The third fable is new to me. A man builds his house with the firewood next to the fireplace. A friend advises him to move the wood away from the fire. The host refuses to listen to him. A few days later, the house catches fire. Soon after putting out the fire, the host holds a feast to thank his neighbors for their help. He seats the most hurt closest to him. A wise neighbor says that he should honor most the friend who gave him the good but spurned advice, and the host agrees and feels ashamed. "Prevention is better than cure." The fourth fable has a botched condition for its final line and then a fine moral (16). "If you know how to think," the fox says, "you would be the king of birds." "A flattering friend is your worst enemy." All four of the two-page spreads offer good illustrations.