Aesop's Fable of The Miller, His Son and Their Ass
. Incline Press . Oldham, England
PZ8.2.W674 Ae 2006 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is a gorgeous private-press book that I happened upon during a New Year's visit to Bartleby's. The book's format is huge: 15 x 11½. The story is well told. The miller's repeated refrain is They are right! The son is put onto the ass first. The son's bowl-like cap is always just over his eyes. An intriguing illustration comes as the miller puts his son with him onto the ass. Is that a child climbing onto a grown-up? The final admonition comes from a rich traveler on horse back passing them in the same direction as they approach town: Are you planning to sell that poor beast at market? Because if you are, you would be better off carrying it! And carry it they do, with no help from a pole. The farmer gets his arms around the ass's belly, and the son seems to have his head supporting the ass' rump. The fine illustration of the ass' fall seems to me to derive largely from Tenniel's inspiration. By trying to please all, he had pleased none, and lost his Ass as well! Still, the last illustration has the ass climbing out of the water onto a more inviting shore. The back cover shows the rich traveler just coming into view up the road. Lovely paper! Lovely book! I found the date of publication by checking into another copy available on the web. I am very lucky to have found this book!