. Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc . [New York]
PS3537.A826 F3 1941 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Twenty-seven good stories of various genres on eighty-nine pages with clever initials. A note before the first story identifies them as old Armenian stories, including some remembered in Fresno. A particular pleasure lies in the elongated titles of the tales. Here is an example: The Tribulations of he Simple Husband Who Wanted Nothing More than to Eat Goose but was Denied this Delight by His Unfaithful Wife and Her Arrogant but Probably Handsome Lover (17). Fables show up here in various ways. Sometimes a traditional fable shows up in slightly changed form. Thus TB (5) has a form of the La Fontaine version. In this form one of the two hunters has already sold a bearskin, while the other will wait to catch a bear first. The former, foolish hunter, encounters a bear, drops his gun, and falls to the ground pretending to be dead. This bear waters in his face before walking away! Asked what the bear has told him, the foolish hunter becomes less foolish and answers that the bear told him not to sell his skin before he gets it off the bear's body. The traditional fable about the traveler and satyr shows up here as the story of a man and a bear who were friends (7). New to me but like many fables is the story of the turtle who comes to the dying lion shot by hunters. The turtle curses those who come to injure magnificent creatures of the earth like us (8). Similarly, the rabbit tries to imitate the roaring lion, but only makes a squeak that alerts the fox to his presence. The fox comes and kills him easily (44). I do not think there is a bad story in the book. Maybe the best non-fable tells the story of the exchange between a crazy man and a king (64). The best joke might be that about the man who plays a cello with only one string and fingers the string in the same place. In response to his wife's observation that others play with four strings and move their fingers continuously, the man says that they are looking for the place and he has found it (76). There are larger illustrations on 19, 33, 47, 69, and 83.