Listen to the Animals (As told by S.G. Pothan)
Pothan, S. G
. Penguin Books India , Penguin Books of India . New Delhi
PZ7.P97413 Ls 1994 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here are ten stories averaging six to eight pages in length. They are elaborated moral and aetiological stories. Thus the young bee learns that the lotus wants the bee to be kind and polite before she, the lotus, will give up her honey to the bee. A grateful king rewards the brown kingfisher by giving him his royal blue with a pearly necklace. The Let me go if I tell you three truths story is set between a young mountain goat and a tiger. Worried Cockroaches uses the traditional motif of searching through multiple levels to find a worthy spouse for a pretty daughter; here the cockroaches decide, after learning from each animal in a chain that it is afraid of the next one up, that they should simply be proud to be cockroaches. Man at the top of the chain is actually afraid of cockroaches! The Ungrateful Cobra uses the traditional motif of asking three judges. This story also has its own version of repeating the rescue--here it would be that a man rescues a cobra trapped in a burning house--but instead of repeating the scene, the intelligent cobra says that the man is too clever for him, and he departs. The Tiger and the Farmer's Wife uses traditional trickery, especially when the wife thanks the jackal for bringing the tiger. These have their tails tied together, and both suffer in the end. This book saves money by using very small margins around the text.