365 Successful Fables: The North Wind and the Sun
365 Successful Fables: The North Wind and the Sun. Paperbound. Taiwan: 365 Successful Fables: You Fu Culture Co. Ltd. $10 from Jeremy Weiss, Sleepy Hollow, NY, through eBay, Sept., '12. FW 12. 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 Wind and the Sun; "The Emperor and the Minister"; "The Donkey, the Dog and the Master"; and "The Lion and the Hare." The formula for this series seems to be "Slick printing and lively illustrations in bilingual pages with notes marking difficult vocabulary words." The Wind and the Sun is told in the poorer version. The morals are surprising, to say the least. The moral for The Wind and the Sun is "There is no limit if you look up." What?! For "The Donkey, the Dog and the Master" it is "One could suffer for his wisdom." Was that wisdom for which the donkey suffered? For the last fable the moral is: "Penny-wise and pound foolish." I think that the lion was neither penny-wise nor pound foolish! The second fable uses the performance of a trick to talk an emperor out of his autocratic and selfish wish to have a tall tower built for himself.