365 Successful Fables: The Fox and the Crane
365 Successful Fables: The Fox and the Crane. Paperbound. Taiwan: 365 Successful Fables: You Fu Culture Co. Ltd. $10 from Jeremy Weiss, Sleepy Hollow, NY, through eBay, Sept., '12. FW 10.
The four fables presented and illustrated in this volume are: "The Fox and the Crane"; "The Donkey and the Horse"; "The Deer and the Hunter"; and "The Farmer and the Eagle." This volume is among the most successful in its application of morals to its stories, which are themselves good. "Do as you would be done by" fits The Fox and the Crane well, as does "Haughtiness invites ruin; humility receives benefits" the second story. This second story tells about the downfall of the proud warhorse with the golden saddle after being injured in a race. He is now the equal of the donkey working the fields. The third story tells of the deer eluding the hunter but then eating the grape leaves that had protected him. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." The final story speaks regularly, somewhat clumsily for American English, of the farmer's "headdress" and ends with an overly generic and grammatically incorrect moral: "Alls well that ends well." Is the story not about perceiving gifts? This last story also suffers from using the same basic illustration for all three phases of the story. More typical illustrations are on 2-3 and 10-11.