Beastly Tales

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".

First Indian edition (publ Viking)

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 feted 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 Ox
  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


Poems from the book have been performed by Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak, Heeba Shah, and Kenneth Desai.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Snigdha Hasan (28 June 2017). "Veteran actors bring Vikram Seth's poetry about animal kingdom to life". Mid Day. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Vikram Seth's poem will bring Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak together on stage!". Essel Group. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak to bring alive the magic of Indian theatre at Mountain Echoes Literary Festival". Essel Group. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2019.