Sleepy-Time Stories from The Panchatantra

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Bhanot, Reinu
Bhanot, T.R
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This book is parallel to Arora's Night-Time Stories from The Panchatantra, this hardbound book with dust-jacket has 100 pages. The T of C on 6 lists fourteen numbered stories. This book is remarkable for offering a large picture on almost every page. New to me is The Warrior-Turned Potter (28). A potter through accidents comes to be a high-standing warrior in the king's entourage. He is eager to serve in battle but is dismissed by the king when the king learns about his past. The king relates a good fable about a jackal raised by a lioness with her own cubs. When faced with an attacking elephant, the jackal proves in action that he lacks the courage of his brothers. The lioness tells him the truth about his past and he leaves the family immediately. It is nice to meet old friends from the Panchatantra and Kalila and Dimna tradition, and I enjoy Ram-Lakshman's art. One of the strongest images here shows the jackal caught between the two head-butting rams (47). A foolish barber happens to see an honest man strike a saint who turns into gold, as the saint had promised in a dream (48). The barber proceeds to murder a whole set of saints, but none of them turn into gold! He is hanged for his troubles! This hanging is one of many graphic illustrations in the book (53). The Birds and the Monkeys (54) is also from that tradition. Instead of fireflies here, it is concerned with dark red flowers which the monkeys mistake for burning coke. This version deals not with advice from one bird but with laughter from many birds. Then in a second round, a monkey gets angry over unwanted advice given and pulls down a nest. Two young birds are killed. The fable moralizes that evil persons always disregard advice and turn inimical to those who try to advise them. The Selfless Thief is a curious piece from start to finish (81). This Brahman is otherwise upstanding, but he cannot rid himself of the bad habit of thieving. He accompanies four jewel merchants who have all swallowed their jewels for safe transport home. Villagers accost them on the way, having been told by truth-telling birds that they have jewels. The chief of the village has a plan to kill each to find the jewels in their bodies. The noble Brahman offers to be killed first. The villagers find no jewel and let the other four go. The book has a number of typos; check, e.g., 31, 33, 46, 47, 56, 63, 81. The dust-jacket is glued to the covers.
Arora Book Company
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