THE ELEPHANT'S BATHTUB by Frances Carpenter


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The author, familiar with the nuances and flavor of folklore, turns her gaze eastward in this collection of twenty five fables from sixteen countries of the Orient. The title story. The Elephant's Bathtub, is taken from Burmese lore and tells of a jealous who attempts to set a trap for his victim by forcing him to whitewash the King's gray elephant. His devious plan does not include the king's request that he build a bathtub big enough to hold the elephant. How he is cured of his evil ways culminates in a satisfying conclusion. How the fish in the great Cambodian river got their bent noses is described in the legend of a fish who stole a grain of rice from a Prince beloved by Buddha. The Would Be Wizard is a phony of course. Yet in this Arabian tale he actually saves the palace from destruction. No compendium of this kind would be complete without a Buddhist allegory and this one describes the miracle of the begging bowls. In addition to its sheer entertainment value, this reveals even to young listeners, something of the culture of these faraway lands.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday