NEW BOOK SUMMARY BY THE LITERATE CAT

small black cat with glasses reading bookHello, you two-legged readers! It’s Lucinda the literate cat again, with a new book summary. The Cantankerous Cat Lady has given me a six-week contract to write more summaries for her blog. I am happy to do so.

I am glad that so many of you liked my book summaries. I even received a couple of pieces of fan mail. How purrfect!

The Cantankerous Cat Lady took a sample of my work to her writer’s group, where they praised me and thought me clever. However, Abigail, a poet and the group’s ramrod, decided that, instead of Lucinda, I should be called by my nickname, which is Lucy.

Abigail the poet says, since Lucy only has two syllables, it makes for better alliteration when you say “Lucy the literate cat.”  My Cantankerous Cat Lady prefers Lucinda because she says it sounds more musical. You decide.

Aesop’s Illustrated Fables, Collectible EditionAesop's Illustrated Fables (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

Hardcover, bonded leather

Price: $25.00

I will do just one book this week, because it is one with several stories — more than 400 of them, in fact. It is called Aesop’s Fables. I’ll give you a taste of the stories by summarizing and commenting on a couple of them.

As I stated in my last review, these two-leggeds like to write stories to help educate their young. We cats learn a lot of what we need to know from our mothers. It makes me wonder if these two-legged children are weaned too soon. Maybe it just takes them longer to learn.

The first story I’ll tell you about is called The Tortoise and the Hare. In this story, a porpoise, called Slow and Steady, challenges the hare to a race.

This hare is not someone I would like, as all he did was brag about how fast he could run. (I wonder if he could outrace a fast hunting cat!) The tortoise, Slow and Steady, got tired of his bragging and challenged him to a race. The other animals gathered to watch.

Well, the hare started fast and was well ahead, so he stopped to rest, and fell asleep by the road. Now, that’s the time I would like to be nearby so I could attack him while he slept. I’d have a juicy rabbit for dinner.

tortoise and hare racing, tortoise aheadSlow and Steady, meanwhile, never stopped, but plodded slowly towards the finish line.

When all the other animals began cheering, it woke up the hare, who was too far away to catch the tortoise, so Slow and Steady won.

This story does remind me of my time with my mother. She tried to teach us to stay focused on our destination and not to be distracted by less important things. If we were hunting, we had to pay attention to the task at hand — no napping! If the hare had remained focused on his destination, he would have won.

The Dog in the Manger: This story is about a dog who found a manger of soft hay in the barn, climbed on it and fell asleep. An ox came to eat and the dog, enraged at being awakened, snarled and barked at the ox, and attempted to bite him, not letting him near to eat. The poor hungry ox could not get near his hay.

That’s a dog for you — protecting something he doesn’t own and which he can’t eat, just because he was there first. He certainly wasn’t going to eat that hay.

Then the farmer came in the barn and saw the dog being rude to the cattle. The farmer took a stick and chased the dog out of the barn.

Hit him once for me!

It is too bad the ox was so gentle and sweet. If the dog had tried to chase me from my food, I would have jumped on his back, dug in my claws, and ridden around on his back until he decided the barn was no place he wanted to be.

The Fox and the Grapes: A fox saw hanging grapes and wanted to eat them. He jumped several times and tried to grab them, but could not reach them. So, the fox left, deciding the grapes were probably hard and sour anyway.

That is no excuse! It’s just something the fox made up because he was too lazy to figure out how to get those grapes.

He could have asked a cat to run up the tree and knock down the grapes. The cat wouldn’t eat them. That fox just didn’t have enough ambition to find a solution.

The Crow and the Pitcher: A thirsty crow finds a pitcher with some water in it. When he dips in his beak, he can’t reach the water.

He starts dropping pebbles into the water, and when he dumps in enough pebbles, they have raised the water level enough so he can drink it.

crow throwing pebbles in pitcherThis story is all about persistence. To solve a problem, keep trying until you find a solution.

I can think of a good example from my own experience to demonstrate. When I want to eat in the morning, I first have to get the Cantankerous Cat Lady out of bed. I use many techniques. If meowing isn’t effective, I might jump on her a few times, or just walk around on her. This guarantees wakefulness. Then I have to get her to move. I pat her face, or lick her fingers, or perhaps her nose. I keep trying until I am successful. Persistence will pay off.

These are good stories. I like them because they are so short. I can read one or two and then stop to take a little nap while I mull over the meaning of the tale.

I hope you enjoyed this little review.  I will be back next week with more reviews from Lucinda, the literate cat.


16 Responses to NEW BOOK SUMMARY BY THE LITERATE CAT

  1. Emmanuel Buysse says:

    Great post and it seems to be a very good book for that price!

    And 400 tales, that is just awesome, I remember the tale of the tortoise and the haze, I always was the haze, want to do things fast but often bad, my wife is more a tortoise but she does things good.

    Anyway, this is recommendable to read it for childs, right? It looks like a very good childbook as well, therefore my question.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Yes, absolutely.  It is meant for children.  Each story has a little moral, or lesson, but they are all short and all things that a child will understand and identify with.  I love the look of the book itself, too — leather bound and beautifully illustrated — sounds like a treasure to me.

  2. Kenny says:

    Hi this is really nice and I like that you summarised some of stories in the book. I love reading different stories to my 5 year old son before he goes to bed. I know it is so beneficial for his reading skills too. I will look into more of your writing and I can see why your a writer as your work flows beautifully. Thanks again, Kenny 

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Kenny, thank  you for your comment.  Yes, these are great bed-time stories.  They are all short, so you can read one, and if your child wants more, another short one won’t take much time.  After all, you have over 400 stories to choose from.  Or, you could read one and then ask you child what he thinks about the story, and perhaps that will reinforce the lesson.  

  3. TP says:

    Hey Lucinda, I decided to check out your website on book summaries. 

    Its pretty cool. The 1st thing that caught my eye was that the illustration of the page is really cool.  The first paragraph told me about this cats venture in reviewing books.  So I knew the site would elaborate on that, which is cool. 

    The subject of book reviews is major.  But I’m curious.  Who’s cat is this LOL… 

    I look forward to exploring more about book reviews on your site. 

    Thanx Again for Sharing

    -Tu

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Why, Lucinda is my cat, of course.  If you read the first summary she wrote, you learn that she owns me, the Cantankerous Cat Lady.  Yes, she will be doing more reviews.  Folks seem to like her way of looking at things.  Seems she is a little bloodthirsty at times, but after all, she’s a cat.

  4. D. W. Mann says:

    I really enjoyed the summary of some of Aesop’s Famous tales. These were a delight to me growing up and they always paint such vivid pictures in the mind. What is your most favorite out of the book? I think my favorite and one of the most famous ones would be “the boy who cried wolf”! Always such good lessons in these tales and taking a mini vacation in a book always makes for a great day. Thanks.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thanks for your comments.  I think, of the four I presented, the tortoise and the hare is my favorite.  So often we are faced with a monumental task and instead of tackling it, one small piece at a time, like Slow and Steady would have done, we try to race through it, only to become frustrated because some important thing is needed.  If we would just focus and slowly move toward our goal, we would reach it.

  5. pmbaluka2016 says:

    These are wonderful stories I used to hear when I was growing up. My favourite is about the hare and the tortoise. The tortoise was clever and brave enough to win over his bragging counterpart who had already looked down on him. 

    As you say these were not just mere stories to amuse children but also to impart certain lesson in their little brains. Those stories are still fresh in me over 30 years ago and this shows the power of storytelling.

    Thank you for such vivid review.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Your remarks are right on.  It makes me think I should consider asking Lucinda to review some more of the Aesop stories at a later date.  She would enjoy it…lol…Yes, the lessons in the stories apply yet today.  I think that is the beauty of this little book.  It teaches children and serves as a reminder for the rest of us.

  6. Nkhosingiphile says:

    Wow such an interesting story, as for the hair and the tortoise.. this is something that happens in human life, people loose focus and forget the target. If the rabbit did not sleep it could have won .

    Secondly as for the dog it was just jealousy of something it doesn’t even eat. just wondering why the dog was that much protective over something it doesn’t feed on.

    For the fox, i get a lesson that if only on earth we could be one and understand each other and no enemies we could share experiences and help each other live better. The fox need a cat but if i remember well this animals are enemies.. 

    In life we just have to be patient and think of new ways until we get things done.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      You are so right…we have to find the way that works.  Glad you enjoyed the post.  And, though some sources claim that a fox will kill and eat a cat, I think that must be in well-populated areas where the fox is short of food.  When I lived on my homestead on Spruce Island, AK, the foxes and cats pretty much ignored each other.  However, I know of two instances where a cat chased off a fox.  Both owners lived atop a hill, and the cat was seen chasing the fox down the hill.  One of the cats was owned by nuns whose monastery was up quite high.  Their orange cat chased a fox all the way to the beach, far below.

  7. Richard says:

    I think Fran, the cantankerous cat lady, loves cats dearly and it shows. Her writing is gentle and appealing, and although I do not know her, I suspect she has a fine sense of humor, too. The Literate Cat is an intelligent work, chock full of useful information on a wide variety of feline matters.  And as the owner of a delightful little cat who really thinks he is a dog (true), I have bookmarked the site for future reference.  Fran’s site is also attractive, well-designed and easy to navigate. All in all, it is a delight to explore, and I will return to enjoy more cat treats.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Well, you are a real sweetie-pie!  Thanks for the nice comments.  I will try to live up to them.  Ah,yes, cats who think they are dogs…I have met a couple of those.  Very smart animals, even if they usurp the dog’s role.  Does he follow you everywhere?  Most of my cats have loved to hike with me.  I think it just takes inviting them along, and pretty soon they are miffed if you don’t include them.  How fun it is to have cats!

  8. Richard says:

    My pleasure, Fran. My little guy is smart for sure. Wants to be petted and scratched every minute and follows everywhere. The only thing he doesn’t do is bark. He was orphaned very young so maybe thank helps explain his personality.

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Well, drat! I wrote an answer and the computer ate it. At least, I can’t find it anywhere. Thanks for the added comment! Yes, some cats do think they are dogs. His being orphaned very young probably explains part of it. Since he lost his mom, he has “imprinted” on you and you have become his parent. Not a bad thing, actually. It’s nice to know they care about you.

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