Fine collection of tales from Southern Africa, where animals have to face up great shortage of water, where brave hunters hunt in dark and thick forests, and where sometimes children are made out of wax or a tree begins to grow out of a man’s head.
But, above all, these are tales full of wild speaking animals which happen to eat the crops, devour some unlucky man and even longed to marry a beautiful girl.
Here is the lion, the mightiest of all the beasts, and the baboons who once were lazy, the tortoise and the snail which had been boys together, the large snake, the hyena with red eyes, the shy elephant who is the biggest, the leopard mother who changes herself into a beautiful woman to rescue back her beloved cubs. Here are wonderful colourful birds which are able to give delicious sweet-smelling milk. And here is the most cleverest of all, the tiny cunning hare, able to fool all the animals and even the fierce roaring lion.
These tales introduce us to a fascinating world view in which the boundaries between the animal and human worlds are indistinct and fluid, according to a traditional African vision: we are not the masters of nature, we are part of it.
Among my preferred tales: “A Girl Who Lived In A Cave”, “Pumpkin”, “Milk Bird”, “Children of Wax”, “Brave Hunter”.
a curious collection of fables from Botswana, which were charming although a little strange at times. Gives an insight into what is important in Botswana.
As with any of the Alexander McCall Smith series (No1 Lady's Detective Agency, Scotland Street, Sunday Philosphy Club etc...) every new book is like meeting friends you haven't seen in a while, and you're never disappointed.
I often think about some of the characters as if they were real...and that does not happen with all the books a read !
I sometimes wish I haven't start reading them...