This is an unusual book. Almost square with sides of about 7½, it presents some eighteen stories in 215 pages. I read the first. It is a good study of two unhappy relationships, an unexciting relationship between a crocodile that loves and a guinea pig that does not love passionately in return. Soon enough the guinea pig does fall in love with a rakish hamster with no depth or morals. The crocodile tracks them on a lascivious evening together and interrupts their love-making, only to break into tears. The two passionate lovers split up soon anyway, and the two friends return to watching TV together. The back cover lays out author Bauer's philosophy. He wants to put dear animals into the midst of our reality, to let hardcore results emerge. Aesop and La Fontaine would roll over in their graves, he writes. Relationships are a frequent theme, he writes, since partners are for many the only source of meaning. He wants to investigate relationships not in terms of tenderness and adventure, but as mutual stapler-strangleholds. The first story carries out that philosophy. The title here seems to me metaphorical. And I am not so sure that Aesop and La Fontaine would not recognize what is going on here. One might even hazard that they got deeper into the mystery of it all than Bauer does.
Verena Stettler im Eco-Verlag