Classic Stories of China: Ancient Fables
Compiled by Wu Min
Here is a well crafted and well executed sturdy paperback book. A well written introduction pays homage to Chuang Tze and the Chinese tradition of "yuyan." It also mentions Aesop and the Bible. One curiosity is that the introduction mentions one Aesopic fable by name, "The Farmer and the Snake," but that fable is not included here! This paperback of 150 pages is cleverly illustrated with full-page colored pictures, one to a fable, though I cannot find acknowledgement of the artist. I find some 49 fables. In #2, enemies in a boat help to save it in a crisis. "Talk Much or Little" (20) notes that people do not listen to frogs who croak all day, but they do listen to roosters that crow only at dawn. "Roosters" here is actually "roasters," an unintended but lovely pun! "Birds of a Feather" (67) tells of a man with terrible armpit odor who was shunned by family and neighbors. Someone met up with him who loved that odor! "Break Arrows" (109) is BS; it represents the only fable here that is normally included in Aesopic collections. One of the best illustrations is that for "The Snipe and the Clam" (87). Both refuse to surrender, and so they are caught together.
China Intercontinental Press