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The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci

The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci is a small collection of fables created from notations for fables and half-finished fable ideas found in the back of Leonardo’s famous notebooks. The collection teaches how little stories can drive home insightful human ironies, while displaying a bit of the literary thought-processes of the great genius. The book is also a delightful way to introduce children to Da Vinci and the Renaissance. One-of-a-kind, this book is an attempt to reveal something of da Vinci’s inner moral core, celebrating such virtues as humility, self-sacrifice and egalitarianism; and those deploring pretension, pomposity and dogmatism. The writing and the illustrations have been done in a style fitting the period in which Leonardo lived. Published March, 2011 by Roseheart Publishing, USA.
The Privet Bush and the Blackbird
The thick privet bush sat in the sun letting its new berries ripen with sweet juices. Suddenly it felt its branches and its tender fruit pricked by the sharp claws and beak of a blackbird. It complained to the blackbird to stop plucking off its fruit. But the blackbird ig- nored the bush and kept eating its delicious fruit, ripping at it with sharp, powerful claws.
The bush spoke up again, this time angry and hurt: “That’s my fruit. I made it. And I never said you could have it.”
To this the blackbird replied sourly: “Silence, rude bramble! Don’t you know Nature made you to produce these fruits for my hun-
ger? Not only that,” the blackbird laughed, “but next winter you will serve as fuel for the fire.”
The bush listened patiently and tears trickled like dew from its tough lean branches. It watched the blackbird stuff its gullet with berries until it was full, and then fly arrogantly into the warm summer sun.
A few days passed and the blackbird returned to the privet bush to feed on the last of the privet’s berries.
Not far off, some humans were collecting birds for their zoo. When they saw the blackbird, healthy and fat, and distracted by the feast of berries, they wanted it. So while the blackbird was lost in satisfying his hunger, the humans flopped a net over it.
Within an hour, some boughs were cut from the very same privet the blackbird was feeding on. The boughs were then made into the rods or bars of a cage, and the blackbird was imprisoned.
When the blackbird chattered and screeched that it wanted its freedom, the privet spoke up: “Remember me, blackbird, I am not yet consumed by the fire as you said. Instead, I will see you in prison for the rest of your life.”
Moral: Taking without gratitude is a crime.
Author:Ed Tasca is an award-winning humor writer and novelist, and a student of da Vinci’s extraordinary life. This little book of fables is a homage to that writing genre, offering readers of every age a taste of the simplicity and clarity of one of man’s oldest and most revered forms of fiction writing. Author’s email: edtasca@gmail.com


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