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Thai Pamphlets Blue 61-72

#0660061: The Merchant's Gold

This fable is usually referred to in terms of a miser. This version is straightforward, with some differences from the tradition in its ending. "`Why are you making so much noise?,' says a neighbour. `That gold is no use to you when you have it in the ground anyway.'" There is no mention here of substituting a rock for the gold. The sudden appearance of a "neighbor" (and two other family members pictured with him) in the midst of a woods is surprising.

#0660062: The Cat and the Hen

This is a lovely fable which I had never seen before. It is structured along the lines of "The Donkey and the Lapdog." The mistress prefers the hen to the cat because the hen produces eggs. The cat decides to copy the hen. One day the hen leaves her eggs, and the cat covers them and even starts to cluck when the mistress appears. But the mistress gets angry and drives the cat away. The latter in her panic breaks a number of eggs, and the mistress beats her and drives her away for good. "Envy shouts at others and wounds itself."

#0660063: The Fox and the Kid

Good faces. This fox is asked to accompany the kid's dancing with his "famouse (sic) singing voice," and in response he howls at the top of his voice. [xx]

#0660064: The Frogs Desire a Guardian

One of the best illustrated of the booklets, I believe. There is no motivation here expressed behind the desire for a guardian. The frogs' response to the log is boredom. God finally appears close to the end, as a figure something like Buddha or an emperor, but clearly in a child's form. "The stork gobbles up every single frog in sight."

#0660065: The Dog and the Cock

This fox comes to the tree "hurrily." Does it make sense for the cock to say "I will come down if you will first ask the porter below to open the door"? The dog puts an end to the fox. "Meet cunning with cunning."

#0660066: The farmer and the Cobra

Does a cobra half-dead with cold make sense in pictures set in a very warm climate, where the old farmer wears sandals and a coolie-hat? This version adds a neighbor, whose timely warnings go unheeded. The farmer cries out in mortal pain and dies. "One cannot expect good faith from the faithless."

#0660067: The Lion, The Bear and the Fox

Sometimes this fable works on the basis that the two contenders for some spoil (here the lion and bear for a dead fawn wounded by a hunter who did not follow it) become so exhausted that a third can take it as they lie and watch. In this version, I think the story works rather by getting the two so distracted in the fight into which they have worked themselves that the fox can snatch the fawn while they are unaware. "Two dogs fight over a bone and a third runs away with it."

#0660068: The Leopard and the Fox

The ending, after the fox tells the leopard that "people value a bright brain far more than they do a handsome body," is surprising and marred with errors: "Come to think of it, the leopard let the fox goes free and becomes friend with the beasts of the forest again. `Beauty is only skin deep.'"

#0660069: The Monkey and the Buffalo

The buffalo appears here in a slot the fable tradition usually gives to the camel. His dancing performance is so ludicrous that the other four-footed animals first laugh and then drive him out. I like the image of bunnies throwing mudballs at him as he flees!

#0660070: The Lazy Turtle

This story revives the etiological tale. Jupiter throws a wedding party, to which the turtle arrives very late. Challenged, he gives as explanation for his lateness that he did not want to leave his home. As a punishment, Jupiter makes him carry his home everywhere. "Laziness finds its own punishment." I like the pictures of the shell-less turtle!

#0660071: The Eagle and the Hawk

I am glad to see this fable show up here. The lonesome single female eagle gives in to the promises of the male hawk that, if they marry, he will support her well and bring her even a big dog. After they marry, she asks him to get her some food. He brings back a mouse. Challenged about his promises, he answers "I would have promised you the world just to win your hand." I do not think that the tradition usually sees this fable in terms of romance, as this version does in its moral: "Love is sweet in the beginning but sour at the ending." Daly (#574) applies it to marriage but not to love: "For women who find themselves mated with cowards when they try to improve their fortune."

#0660072: The Hares and the Frogs

Straightforward rendition. Moral: "There is always someone worse off than yourself."

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