move on

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Aesop’s fables can make great children’s books – they are almost better as book than told. When I try to tell them they seem to be over so quickly – “Is that it??”

Turning the pages and taking time over the illustrations helps to s – l – o – w the story to the sort of situation-comedy pace they need to appreciate their small-chuckle-of-recognition humour.

I don’t want to give to much away about my at this stage fairly secret plans for a huge Aesop theme park (including Hare and Tortoise fast food joints) on the Island of Samos, reputedly Aesop’s birthplace, or to praise some of the great reteller-illustrators, but there is time for one short “Is that it??” tale, you must know it:

Lion, getting older and suffering from a little bit of lower back pain (first incurred when lifting Lioness many years before) decided that direct hunting was not henceforward to be his method. He had it announced that he was ill in bed and would welcome visitors to his sick-cave.

One by one all the animals of the forest visited to cheer Lion up, bringing flowers and grapes.

Fox was on his way too with his friend Stork, when suddenly he stopped.

“Why the long pause?” said Stork.

“It’s the tracks,” said Fox, “the animals’ footprints…”

“How do you mean?’ said Stork.

“Don’t you see? They all lead into Lion’s Cave. None of them lead out.”

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1 Comment »

  1. vixen said

    It is exactly as you say. Unless somebody is a natural talent in story telling, Aesop’s fables come better as book (or blog entry) than told. Because we can read them again and again. One for the plot, another for the characters and many other times to catch the messages.

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