Taka's Reviews > Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables by Aesop
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Oct 30, 07

bookshelves: japan_jul07-aug11, classics
Read in October, 2007

A delightful quick read, but repetitive at times--

This collection of Aesop's fables contains 600 fables, including the classic fables known universally like the boy who cried wolf, the north wind and the sun, the tortoise and the hare, and the ant and the cricket. Never for once was I bored plowing through all 600 fables in 2.5 days, although there were a number of repetitive fables that could have been better consigned to an appendix section or something.

Though simple, short, and overtly corny, the fables exercise a strange power over you as you dip in to read a few fables and realize that you've read like 100 of them. It was also fun to return to a kind of childhood mentality and just sit and simply enjoy the fables as they are without the usual sarcastic, critical attitude of an adult that would spoil the fun of it all. As a result, I rediscovered old fables I had forgotten about and, to my pleasant surprise, found new favorites, e.g.:

The orator Demades was trying to address his Athenian audience. When he failed to get their attention, he asked if he might tell them an Aesop's fable. The audience agreed, so Demades began his story. 'The goddess Demeber, a swallow, and an eel were walking together down the road. When they reached a river, the swallow flew up in the air and the eel jumped into the water.' Demades then fell silent. The audience asked, 'And what about the goddess Demeter?' 'As for Demeter,' Demades replied, 'she is angry at all of you for preferring Aesop's fables to politics!'

Good stuff.
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