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Here is a very curious book, marked by the cover of a lion reading a fable book in the presence of other animals and a title-page wordless fable of two mules and two piles of fodder. The first curiosity is that I had not found it before this time, at least in its US form published in 1977 by Falcon Books. The second curiosity has to do with other books that use some of its materials. One of them is Favole di Animali (1987) from Dami, but that book makes Cavina's lively colored illustrations black-and-white. Another is El Arca de las Fabulas (1983) from Sigmar, but it presents only half of the fables in this book. The third curiosity is the liberty that this edition takes with many traditional fables: Thus WC becomes The Crane Who Knew Everything (32) and the last remark comes from the crane: It's as well that I always know the best thing to do. In Trout for Tea (44), the fisherman actually throws the fish back, and the fish promptly assures him that he will not let him catch him a second time! In The Lioness and the Bear (46), the lioness has a change of heart for two days, and then goes back to her old killing ways. The Scarey Hare (60) adds a phase when the fox sends the hare, now courageous but still foolish, tumbling into the pool after the frogs. In BC (62), the mice move next door! In The Lion and the Donkey (104) the proud donkey is promptly eaten by a leopard. In MSA (114) the miller first pushes the donkey in a cart! In AD (122) the ant gets on the twig on his own and the dove picks the twig out of the water. The old dog in An Ungrateful Master (124) gets even by letting some thieves break into his master's house. I final curiosity consists in a number of fables previously unknown to me that appear here. The Donkey That Talked (50) urges saying more positive things. The Wolf and the Kid (80) combines The Fox and the Woodcutter and WC. The Giraffe's Neck (82) shows that every advantage brings a vulnerability. The Monkeys' Slide (92) teaches giraffes and monkeys to help each other. The Fox and the Dragon (100) shows when a dragon burns a fox's tail that a dragon's flames can reach where the dragon cannot! The Monkey and the Tramp (108) shows that living in a cage is never worth it. The Lion Who Remembered shows a wounded wolf on 35: why? T of C at the beginning.
Galley Press, W.H. Smith & Son Limited