Tales from Count Lucanor
. The Dial Press . NY
xPZ8.T147Tak 1970 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is an extra copy of this book. Nine delightful stories, with full-page colored illustrations. At the beginning of each, Count Lucanor has a problem or question and calls his adviser Patronio, who tells a story. At the end of the story, Lucanor acts on Patronio's advice, and the outcome is happy. A young man who has just married a high-strung wife kills his dog, cat, and horse for not serving him water when he asks--and she becomes docile for life. A fox caught in town lies playing dead through all sorts of fur-cuttings but flees when a man says he wants the fox's heart. A crow has himself plucked and so infiltrates the owls' camp and becomes trusted--but eventually leads all the other crows back to the owls' hideout. (This is a Panchatantra story, I believe.) An Arabic King with a capricious wife goes the extra mile to satisfy her whims, even creating mud for her to make bricks from--mud not from water and straw but from rose water and sugar cane. When she complains that he never does anything for her, he asks And what about the day of the mud? To cross a turbulent river, you may need to discard everything you carry. A favorite counselor, accused of plotting against the king and offered a regency as a test, shaved himself and came to the king in disguise to offer his personal services to the king in his voluntary exile. A king chooses as his successor the youngest of his three sons because the man foresees needs, arrives early, digs into assigned tasks, and offers honest criticism. A once rich man feels sorry for himself as he eats peas and throws their pods on the ground--only to find that another once-richer man is eating the pods. When canons and friars argued on the basis of privilege who should toll the morning bells first, a cardinal deputed to judge decided that the first to rise would toll the bells. Talbot offers two good pages on the original Lucanor collection of fifty stories and their sources.