Kalila and Dimna is a collection of ancient Indian animal fables, the Panchatantra
, which was translated into Arabic in 750 CE by Persian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa.
According to many scholars, al-Muqaffa didn't merely translate the book, but also used it to express his own political views.
Unfortunately, this English translation of al-Muqaffa's translation is more than 200 years old and the Reverend Wyndham Knatchbull seems to have slightly bowdlerized some of the stories.
You might like this book if you like fables and metaphors*. For example:
I therefore compared the human race to a man, who, flying from a furious elephant, goes down into a well; he suspends himself from two branches, which are at the brim of it, whilst his feet rest upon something projecting out of its sides, which proves to be the heads of four serpents appearing out of their holes; at the bottom he discovers a dragon with its mouth open ready to swallow him if he should fall; and raising his eye towards the two branches, he sees two rats, one white, and the other black, which are incessantly gnawing their stems ...
*Hopefully, I didn't mix up metaphors with metonyms or other rhetorical devices.
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