THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH: A Moral Tale from the Baila of Zambia by Julius -- Adapt. Lester

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH: A Moral Tale from the Baila of Zambia

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While working in the fields, a mother lays her child in the shade of a tree. When the babe begins to cry, an eagle swoops down and comforts him, much to the astonishment of the mother, who had thought eagles were fierce. Though her intuition tells her to keep the marvel to herself, she confides the events to her husband, who thinks she's been out in the sun too long. He goes with her to the field, witnesses the remarkable encounter, and, remembering ""how their beaks, like knives, tore the throats of antelope, causing the blood to gush forth,"" shoots an arrow at the bird. The eagle dodges, and the arrow strikes and kills the child. Lester (The Last Tales of Uncle Remus, p. 70, etc.; John Henry, see above) informs the reader that the man unleashed murder into the world ""because he thought he knew what he had never seen and never experienced."" Hold on: This father had seen eagles gut antelope -- why wouldn't he fear for his child? And ""murder"" might be a bit strong in this context. Jenkins's rich oil paintings keep this story from crash landing. They're powerful minimalist landscapes with figures on the surrealist edge -- paintings that have you turning the pages for more.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion