Am I reading the same Aesop’s Fables? I wondered if anyone else found them dreadful and boring and even pointless. But, at Goodreads, people are flinging five stars to and fro.
I enjoyed the familiar fables, and a few were funny. Like The Bald Knight.
The Bald Knight
A certain knight, who wore a wig to conceal his baldness, was out hunting one day. A sudden gust of wind carried away his wig, and showed his bald pate. His friends all laughed heartily at the odd figure he made, but the old fellow, so far from being put out, laughed as heartily as any of them. “Is it any wonder,” said he, “that another man’s hair shouldn’t keep on my head when my own wouldn’t stay there?”
Here is what I mean by pointless. The Fox and the Lion in its entirety:
The Fox and the Lion
The first time the Fox saw the Lion, he nearly died with fright. The next time, he gathered sufficient courage to have a good stare. The third time, he went boldly up to the Lion, and commenced a familiar conversation with him.
Immediately after the Lion and the Mouse fable—you know, the mouse cuts the cords and frees the Lion— comes The Fatal Courtship, which made me chortle unkindly. I can’t imagine reading this to a child for a bedtime story, can you?
The Fatal Courtship
It is said that the Mouse spoken of in the last Fable was so emboldened by the offers of friendship made to him by the Lion in return for his assistance, that he asked for the hand of his daughter in marriage. The Lion, amused at the request, good-humoredly told the Mouse he should plead his own cause, and called the young Lioness to come to him. She, bounding forward heedlessly, did not see her little lover, who was running to meet her, and one of her paws falling upon him, he was crushed to pieces.
I fear that the problem is with me instead of with Aesop, since these fables have been loved since the 6th century B.C.
And I think the fables are kind admonishments and teachings for adults. I guess they became popular for children because of they animal stories. 🙂
Fun fact from my old Children’s Literature Text: “Aesop is said to have lived in Greece between 620-560 BC and is thought to have been a Samian slave. Because free speech under the Tyrants was risky business, Aesop is supposed to have used the fables for political purposes, protecting himself and veiling his opinions behind the innuendos of these little stories.” From Children and Books by Zena Sutherland and May Hill Arbuthnot. love and prayers, jep
I do like some of the fables. But, doggone it! I thought the mouse lived happily ever after. Now I know he was just mash on the bottom of a lion’s paw.