In October, I sent out my first submission to the Amalgamated Printers' Association. Members are required to produce four letterpress printed pieces per year and then send them to the “mailer” who makes up the “bundle” with all the material received that month. I created a series of four illustrations to pay tribute to Aesop's Fables. Each animal features a moral from four of my favorite fables.
The mouse features the moral from The Lion and the Mouse, "No Act of Kindness is Ever Wasted." In this fable, a lion threatens to kill a mouse that wakes him from sleep. The mouse begs forgiveness and promises to return the lion's favor if released. Humored, the lion sets the mouse free. Later, the lion is netted by hunters. Hearing it roaring, the mouse remembers the lion's mercy and frees the lion by gnawing through the ropes.
The crow features the moral from The Crow and the Pitcher, "Little by Little Does the Trick." The story concerns a thirsty crow that comes upon a pitcher with water at the bottom, beyond the reach of its beak. After failing to push it over, the bird drops in pebbles one by one until the water rises to the top of the pitcher, allowing it to drink.
The chicken features the moral from the The Milkmaid and her Pail, "Don't Count Your Chickens Before they Hatch." The story tells a milkmaid on the way to market who starts to speculate on the consequences of investing the sale of her wares in eggs and breeding chickens from them. As she daydreams, she unbalances her pitcher of milk from her head and spills the milk she intended to sell.
The tortoise features the moral from The Tortoise and the Hare, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race." The story concerns a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise and is challenged by the tortoise to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the course. When the Hare awakes however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.
I also printed these designs on folded cards. Both the prints and cards are available in my Etsy Shop.