Beastly Tales

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First Indian edition (publ Viking)

Beastly Tales is a 1991 collection of ten fables in poetry written by Vikram Seth (UK ISBN 978-0-7538-1034-7, also US ISBN 978-0-7538-0774-3).
Its full title is Beastly Tales from Here and There and, in the introduction, Seth states "the first two come from India, the next two from China, the next two from Greece, the next two from the Ukraine. The final two came directly to me from the Land of Gup".
Seth's sense of humour is exemplified by his retelling of the well-known fable of The Hare and The Tortoise (p.43). In his version the loser, being a celebrity, is fêted and the winner ignored.


  1. The Crocodile and the Monkey
  2. The Louse and the Mosquito
  3. The Mouse and the Snake
  4. The Rat and the O""
  5. The Eagle and the Beetle
  6. The Hare and the Tortoise
  7. The Cat and the Cock
  8. The Goat and the Ram
  9. The Frog and the Nightingale
  10. The Elephant and the Tragopan