THE SON OF THE LEOPARD by Harold Courlander


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With the same sure ear and storytelling craft that distinguishes the author's folklore collections, Courlander tells the Ethiopian-based story of Wolde Nebri, whose name, meaning Son of the Leopard, is given to him by the village leaders because they believe him to be the reincarnation of a cruel chief their people had turned on and killed many generations ago, Fearing revenge the villagers isolate and finally expel the youth, whereupon he wanders about performing heroic deeds (including one recalling David and Goliath) for the benefit of different groups he encounters. But as his early treatment still rankles, he takes advantage of his new friends' gratitude by requesting that they provide him with armies to attack his home village, and it is not until he fails three times that he ""succeeds through sorrow"" as prophesied, exchanging his sword for a harp and his physical strength for knowledge. A wise and authentic blend of incident, theme and background.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Page count: 55pp
Publisher: Crown