On Language: To make a cat laugh…

I have done several handmade collections of Cat Folk Tales at The Stone Street Press, and also the very popular miniature of the ninth century Irish cat-and-monkish scribe poem Pangur Ban.

Later on, I did a version entitled “Cat Folk Tales” for Random House –in 1990 or thereabouts, that I illustrated with cat silhouettes.

Years later when fooling around with Google what did I come across but a book “Cuentos de Gatos” written by….none other than…Malachi McCormick!

Gee, nobody told me!

It had been translated into Spanish and published in Mexico City.

I won’t bore you with the very many questions that the publication of an unauthorized version of one’s own book raises.
The only reason I raise it here is the –to me– very curious fact that a text which in my original English-language was 79 pages long, in Spanish came out EXACTLY twice as long! Exactly
Does anyone have an explanation for this? Is the Spanish tongue inherently more-flowery, by a factor of x2? Or was it my more lithe, taut, and muscular syntax?

No, I didn’t sue. I’m not exactly sure why not.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the Mexican publisher –Editorial Diana, of Mexico– inexplicably but touchingly retained my original dedication to my two cats of the time, Pearlie and Peanuts, since departed to take up important appointments in Cat Heaven.

Translated into Spanish, it came out:
“Para Pearlie y Peanuts”


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