Books: Truth & Consequences

THE ELEPHANT by Slawomir Mrozek. 176 pages. Grove. $3.95.

A prudent lion refuses to rend Christians in the arena—not because he cares about them but because he senses that they may soon take political power in Rome and he wants his act of neutrality to be on record.

A well-heeled small-town matron, thinking a canary too common a pet, keeps a live revolutionary caged in her drawing room instead.

A Communist radio announcer de scribes the tag end of a May Day parade: "We can already hear the noise of stamping and shuffling," he says with enthusiasm. "Yes, here they come. Our glorious...

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