Aesop, an illiterate slave, is the only survivor of a storm
tossed galley ship that flounders in Southern seas and washes
up, a wreck, on the coast of a great southern continent.
Aesop assumes it to be the legendary Austral Land, an idea
first voiced by Aristotle, and sets ou...t in exploration. For many
years Aesop travels the great island continent of Australia
(for surely that's what it was) up and down from coast to
coast, learning the ways of the birds and other animals that he
encounters and tells, in fables, of things he has seen and
heard but can never put to writing. Much might have been
lost, but for the Cockatoos, who took it upon themselves to
commit to memory the great fabulist's stories, passing them
down, family through family, for millennia. They ensured that
the fables were told over and again, not the smallest detail
lost, none allowed to slip from memory.
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"In this collection, newly painted for this book, Ray Ching's drawing and painting skills, familiar to New Zealanders through his widely seen paintings of birds, are imaginatively engaged in an altogether new expression of Aesop's Fables. The stories have left their origins in Gr...eece and ancient Europe and set off to the distant isles of New Zealand. Now, the tales are told by the inhabitants of these islands, mostly birds, who take the place of the more traditional players - Tui are as smart as Crows, and Tuatara is as dogged as the Tortoise, to successfully win his race over Possum. An introduction by Richard Wolfe gives an insight into the work and art of Ray Ching and a brief history of Aesop's fables in publication" --Bookdepository.co.uk.