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Unformatted text preview: secondary or under-the-surface meaning. It is a story, therefore, that can be read, understood and interpreted at two levels (and in some cases at three or four levels). It is thus closely related to the fable and parable. The form may be literary or pictorial (or both, as in emblem-books). An allegory has no determinate length. A Famous Old Arab Fable: The Frog and the Scorpion They met one day on the bank of the River Nile, which they both wanted to cross. The frog offered to ferry the scorpion over on his back provided the scorpion promised not to sting him. The scorpion agreed so long as the frog would promise not to drown him. The mutual promises exchanged, they crossed the river. On the far bank the scorpion stung the frog mortally. Why did you do that? croaked the frog, as it lay dying. Why? replied the scorpion. Were both Arabs, arent we?...
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- Spring '08