A Pig with Three Legs: Fables
. Ilar Publishing House . Tirana, Albania
PZ8.2.L35 Pig 2000 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is not only my first book published in Albania; it is also one of the largest-format books I have. I measure it at about 9 x 12½. The twenty-seven fables here are simple and good. Each fable gets a two-page spread in these 64 pages. Beware: The T of C lists fables not by pages by each fable's number in chronological order. Most of these good fables end up being close to the border with jokes. When the pencil says to the eraser Your only use is/To undo what I have done, the latter replies The only time I've work to do/Is when you've gone astray (10-11). The title-story comes from a boy who is happy to outdo his comrade who said that a pig has only two legs (12-13). Parachute (32-33) is both good and a good example of the joke character of the fables here. A piggy went to the store to buy a parachute. The Stork clerk said, full of pride,/This will give you a wonderful ride./Like all our goods, it's guaranteed./We stand behind our product, indeed!/If it doesn't work as it is tasked,/We will exchange it, no questions asked. A parrot begins cursing, and the mother asks the son to stop it (54-55). The son answers Believe ir or not, he's teaching me. On an engaging page at the end, the author asks if the reader likes the fables. If so, he requests calls, emails, and letters and gives the address or number for each. If not, he writes three things, the heart of which is that he has lost his phone, email, and home. The pictures of author, illustrator, and translator on the back cover look as though they came from Eastern Europe in the depths of Russian occupation.