Boer War Page 91v
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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Dexterity Puzzle, President Paul Kruger, 1900
Orig. puzzle - Size - 7 cm
Found - Amsterdam, Netherlands
A fabulous item reflecting how, during times of war, all stops are pulled out to demonize the enemy in the minds of the public, leaving not even the youngest free of propaganda.

This small hand puzzle was introduced in 1899-1900 as a child's game which made use of one of Aesop's Fables to create a toy that resonated with children who had been read the story of the Lion in Love.

Here the moral was applied to a Boer Head of State and President of the Republic of the Transvaal.

President Kruger's teeth are actually five tiny white beads. The object of the game - no easy task - was to roll the game in your hand until you got all five teeth in place. The reward - and the comeuppance to the President - was when you then shook the teeth out of his mouth, no doubt to joyous peals of laughter all around.

A Lion in Love: A Lion demanded the daughter of a woodcutter in marriage. The Father, unwilling to grant, and yet afraid to refuse his request, hit upon this expedient to rid himself of his importunities. He expressed his willingness to accept the Lion as the suitor of his daughter on one condition: that he should allow him to extract his teeth, and cut off his claws, as his daughter was fearfully afraid of both. The Lion cheerfully assented to the proposal. But when the toothless, clawless Lion returned to repeat his request, the Woodman, no longer afraid, set upon him with his club, and drove him away into the forest.

Aesop’s Fables - Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900

Townsend was the translator of the standard English edition of Aesop's Fables, being a volume of some 350 stories succinctly told and ending with a moral.

Left, the President with teeth in place

Below, Kruger toothless and sad after the dastardly deed was done.

Clearly children as young as five or six could be engaged in helping to fight the evil Boers in South Africa.

Alas! - A century later, children, alas, don't even need to master dexterity skills before they are allowed to show support for war against people half way around the world; now all they need to do is pin or paste on a ribbon or bumper sticker that says "Support our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan." Standards are definitely deteriorating...
Go to Kruger Money Box 1

President Paul Kruger, Dexterity Puzzle, 1900 - 1899 - 3

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