The Wolf and his Shadow and other Aesop's Fables
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Fifteen fables on 40 large-format pages. I am fortunate to have found a whole set of the first printing at once, and at an attractive price! The books are a further use of 200 Aesop's Fables: Favourite Fables to Share, which Miles Kelly published in 2012. Here fables are not grouped as there. Still, all of the fables in this volume were a part of the Narrow Escapes and Sticky Endings section in that book. Though based on the earlier book, each of these pamphlets is larger in format than that book was. Though the illustrations stay proportionately the same, I notice subtle changes in the texts and titles. Thus The Two Fellows and the Bear there (480) has become The Two Men and the Bear here (10), The Tunny-fish and the Dolphin there (494) has become The Tuna-fish and the Dolphin here (24), and The Farmer, his Boy and the Rooks there (510) has become The Farmer, his Boy and the Crows here (36). Stag there tends to become Deer here. Among the best illustrations is that for The Flea and the Man (31). This version of the story makes sense of The Swan and the Goose with its moral: Sweet words may save us from danger, when harsh words fail (5). The only thing that allowed the swan to sing was the danger of death. I find the The Hare with many Friends (15) a poor title for Gay's good fable, which he titled The Hare and Many Friends. I take Gay's point to be that the hare had no friends. In this version, she escapes in the end. Gay offers no such consolation to the reader, for there the last friend finishes the fable by refusing to offend the fellow nay-sayers, bidding the hare adieu, and noting that the hounds are just in view. The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner is well moralized: Those who stir up trouble are as guilty as those who carry it out (23). The thick, slippery pages still contain little characters around the edges. Throughout this volume, the frame including these animals is the same. Fish of all sorts swim around the edges of these pages. One of these fish appears with almost every moral. Every fable is illustrated.
Miles Kelly Publishing