The Blue Jackal

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Sharma, Rashmi
Issue Date
1992
Type
Book, Whole
Language
Keywords
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title
Abstract
How surprising that I lived in Berkeley for four years and never ran across this book or this publisher while I was there! A Google search shows that Vidya Books still exists in Berkeley, though apparently with a post office box number, not a street address. This twenty-two page large-format children's book often combines text and colored illustrations on its paired pages. Sharma narrates the traditional story as an expanded fable, with pleasing development of the situation (drought and heat), scene (a small village near the jungle), and time of day (siesta). About the middle of the story, a "has" needs to be a "had" in the phrase "He has finished dyeing a load of muslin blue that morning." Perhaps the strongest illustration in the book is that of the blue jackal after he emerges from the tub. This same illustration is used on the book's dust-jacket and cover. In this telling, the jackal goes too far when he tells the other animals "Lord Krishna has made me blue in his image. He has also given me some of his special powers." This version then nicely brings the story to its climax with the long-awaited monsoon rains, which of course wash off the jackal's blue dye. "The free ride was over." When the other animals pursue the fleeing jackal, he lets out the "yowl" that is the usual give-away as to his true identity. There is an afterword on Punchtuntra stories. To my surprise, Sharma dates Dabshalim to the fourth century BCE; she says that Dabshalim "defeated the Greek Governor left behind by Alexander." There is also this statement to consider: "Some scholars connect these tales to the African Aesop…." She comments pointedly on the meaning of this story: "The story of The Blue Jackal is told in India to instill the idea of a color-blind society, as opposed to superiority of one race based on skin color." I had previously found a discontinued library copy of this book. This copy is in pristine condition and stays in the collection, while the other joins the "extras" collection.
Description
Citation
Publisher
Vidya Books
License
Journal
Volume
Issue
PubMed ID
DOI
ISSN
EISSN
Collections