The Pond God and Other Stories
Samuel Jay Keyser. Front Street, $14.95 (43pp) ISBN 978-1-886910-96-6
Written in free verse, The Pond God and Other Stories by Samuel Jay Keyser, illus. by Robert Shetterly, offers more than 40 brief tales or fables about wise or foolish gods, and explores the gods' human qualities with humor and insight. In the title story, a young shape-changing god offends the other gods, changes into a lake and the other gods drink enough to transform him into a pond for a thousand years; however, in this form he finds contentment (""And that is why contentment is not something one seeks/ but something one finds,"" reads the closing moral). A crying god causes the rain in the pourquoi tale ""Where Rain Comes from,"" and ""The Stony Gods"" offers a fable that explains ""Only by touching others do we touch ourselves.""
Reviewed on: 10/01/2003