Vom klugen Esel und andere Tierfabeln
This is a curious large-format book that I found on two separate excursions, one to visit an old friend in Paderborn and the other with a school excursion from Heidelberg to Trier. There are two TC's at the back covering the same 207 pages. One reports consecutively on ten evenings of story telling. The other catalogues the stories told by each story-teller, e.g., stories told by the dog Rex about the wolf and fox, or stories told by Peter the horse about the jackal. It seems that each group has one story from each of the ten animals. The early stories are as much folktale as fable, with a heavy emphasis on aetiological stories. New to me is the story of the fox talking the rabbit into fishing with his then-long tail. In fact, he places the rabbit right in front of the turtle's hole. The turtle grabs so hard on the rabbit's tail that the fox needs to pull with the rabbit's ears to keep him from going under. So the rabbit loses almost all of his tail and ends up with very long ears (15). There are occasional line-drawings along the way and perhaps one full-page colored illustration for each of the ten groupings. They are whimsical, primitive, playful. Typical of them may be TT on 101. Perhaps the strongest of them shows the ape riding on the turtle's back and learning that he is to sacrifice his heart for the turtle's wife (183). Of course, he will tell the turtle that he has not brought his heart along and that they need to return to get it. Reflection on the apportioning of various stories to various speakers here would be fascinating. I would love to spend more time with this book! I was disturbed by the typo early in the first set of stories: Und Peter Vegann zu erzählen (14).