Bajky: Nemecky Vypravuje (Cover: Fabeln)
Here is one of the more fascinating fable books to come into my hands. First, it must be something of a miracle that this small (4¾" x 5¾") pamphlet has survived. Secondly, it is a curious book in that it advertises itself with a German title outside but a Czech title inside. I presume it was meant as a text for learning German in Czechoslovakia. What would it have been like to be publishing German books in Czechoslovakia in 1932? I have had to work with online translation services to piece some of its information together. There is a famous Czech Jaroslov Tomsa, but he was born two years before this book was published. There is a small flyleaf at the beginning and end of the book. The flyleaf at the end gives an address of the author. How strange! Inside there are eighteen German-language fables and an epilogue apparently about various fabulists. The fables chosen, all in prose, seem to stem from German authors. I can recognize immediately some of the fables, like the opening "Die Beiden Ziegen." Others are new to me, like "Die Spatzen" (7). Father sparrow tells his little sparrows to fly away promptly when they see a boy reach down to the ground to pick up a stone. "But, Father, what if the boy already filled his pocket with stones?" There is an excellent initial for each fable and a black-and-white illustration of an elephant just before the first fable. That elephant is repeated on the front cover. There is also a T of C at the end.