Enter a world of fables where all kinds of creatures come to life!
A witty hare rids the jungle of an evil tiger. An army of frogs drives an elephant away from their pond. A raven tricks a guard into killing a wicked serpent. An intelligent fox talks his way out of a well to save his own life.
Each story will thrill your imagination and offer a gentle yet profound lesson at the end. Accompanied by striking artwork, A Treasury of Indian Fables brings witty and adventurous stories from across the subcontinent!
Whatever diversity of opinion there may be concerning matters oriental among the races inhabiting the West, there has been one point on which it may be said that but one view has been entertained by them all - that the East is the original abode of much of the Fable and Romance that have formed the heirloom of this world.
Hence, some have been inclined to think that when Aesop gave his immortal collection of Fables to the world, he might have derived the bulk of his material from an Eastern source. In more recent times, not a few have surmised that the highly admired collection of tales known as the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, though ostensibly derived from the people of Arabia, might have been obtained by that very people, like many of their arts and sciences, from a more remote center of Eastern learning.
This great capacity of the Far East to furnish materials for Fables and Romances in endless variety is as much a characteristic of it now as in days of antiquity. To one that has the time and inclination to collect such materials, there is no better field than India. The proverbs and pithy sayings - not to speak of other crude germs, capable of development into fables with wholesome morals, which abound among the people of the country - are, in the metaphorical language of many of its writers, "as many as the pearls of the deep." But these pearls lie underneath the surface, and sometimes "full many a fathom deep."
Hence it is that many a person that has traversed the country from the Himalaya to Cape Comorin has failed to see them. Nay, many that have spent years in India have, like many seafaring men that have spent their lives on the ocean wave, failed to see them at all.
Like the few that specially dive for them, some have from time to time endeavoured to collect the materials described above, and presented them in the shape of works which have interested the public.
Their labours, instead of exhausting the materials, have only proved their extent, even as all the divers for the wealth of the seas heretofore have, instead of exhausting it, only proved the extent to which mankind may profit by continuing their labours in that direction.
The efforts that I have made to collect the materials for these Fables, and present them in this form, have to be regarded, more or less, in this light. The work that is now submitted to the public is the outcome of continued research during a number of years. How far they may be interesting or instructive I leave it to the judgment of the general reader and the critic to decide.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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