The Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from Around the WorldThe Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from Around the World is another wonderful kids’ book I got from Paperback Swap. It includes 23 very short stories from around the world. These are basically parables presented in the form of riddles. For example the titled story features a wise woman who is made to prove her wisdom by finding a cow that is neither white or brown or black, or spotted or striped, a cow that has no color. What does the woman do? The answer is not a practical one, not one that we would necessarily (at least from our cultural context) arrive to, so it is both surprising and delightful.
These stories are made to make you think and initiate a discussion with your children, but I would recommend that you read them to yourself first as some suggest moral teachings that might be different from your own. For example (and here is a spoiler about one of the stories) in the story Ximen Bao and the River Spirit a local priestess and elders force villagers to throw their daughters into the river to appease the “river spirit” who would otherwise cause floods. The “what to do” riddle is solved by throwing the witch and the elders into the river. In the book this is presented to illustrate poetic justice, but ultimately this “eye for an eye” philosophy, while amusing, goes against modern day (and daresay Christian) ethical thinking.
Still, the book as a whole is highly recommended.