Korean Folk & Fairy Tales
Han, Suzanne Crowder
. Hollym . Elizabeth, N.J. ,
GR342.H3177 1991 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Among six chapters here, the first concerns Animal Tales (15-63). Four of the fourteen tales here seem to me to be fables; each of the first three is illustrated with one black-and-white design. The Rabbit's Judgment (28) is the familiar story about a tiger in a pit pitied by a man. A pine tree and an ox offer judgments against the man. The rabbit gets the tiger to show the original situation; that is, he gets him back into the pit--and then leaves him there. The Hare's Liver is also familiar. The dragon king needs a hare's liver; when the hare arrives and comprehends that he is about to be sacrificed, he claims to have left his liver at home. The claim is cleverly developed here by the hare, who says that his liver is in such great demand that he frequently hides it, especially during the day. He even offers the unusual shape of his mouth and his split lip as a proof that he frequently takes his liver out. The Vanity of the Rat (59) is about finding a suitable husband for daughter rat. Again, it is a familiar tale. Two Frogs (62) has two frogs coming a long distance and meeting each other on a mountain top; there they get confused and each sees his terminus a quo when he means to see his terminus ad quem. I do not understand the physical joke behind this traditional tale. How do two frogs standing up end up looking backwards?