Prayuth’s Book Club: PM Recommends ‘Aesop’s Fables’

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha holds up a copy of “Aesop’s Fables” on June 11, 2019.
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha holds up a copy of “Aesop’s Fables” on June 11, 2019.

BANGKOK — Fast on the heels of rating Animal Farm, the junta leader-turned-PM is now recommending Thais read Aesop’s Fables.

At Government House on Tuesday, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said that Thais should read the translation of Aesop’s Fables for moral guidance.

“Many parts of Thai life resonate with the Aesop fables. I want youths to read it so that they know what our history is like,” Prayuth said. “Most importantly we must pay respect to King Rama V, who translated fables such as, ‘The Lion and the Mouse,’ ‘The Wolf and the Sheep,’ and ‘The Hare and the Tortoise.’”

Prayuth held up the 2019 copy of the book, which contains more than 300 translated fables.

Aesop’s Fables is a collection of fables believed to have been written in Ancient Greece around 620 BC. It was one of the first Western literary works to be translated into Thai.

“This literature is an important piece of Thai history,” Prayuth added.

Despite his enthusiasm for the anthology, Prayuth misremembered the fable “The Swan and the Goose,” referring to it as “The Rich Man and the Goose.”

Moving on from Aesop’s Fables, Prayuth also read aloud to the press several stanzas about being industrious in seeking knowledge from the 1873 work Nitisansathok by Phraya Si Sunthorn Wohan, the writer of the first Thai-language textbook.

Although Prayuth’s best-known creative pursuits are his 10 self-penned songs, he may be pursuing a second calling as Thailand’s own Oprah.

The cover of the 2019 version of “Aesop’s Fables” printed by the Thai government.
The cover of the 2019 version of “Aesop’s Fables” printed by the Thai government.

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