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Examples of Fables

fable is a short story that teaches a lesson or conveys a moral. Sometimes, the characters are animals that act and talk like animals.

Fable Examples

  • The Ants and the Grasshopper – In this fable, the ants saved food for the winter and the grasshopper did not. The moral is “It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”
  • The Ass and the Grasshopper Moral – An ass heard grasshoppers chirping and wanted to do the same. He asked what kind of food they ate to be able to sing so beautifully. They said they ate dew. The ass ate only dew and soon died. The moral is, “One person’s meat is another’s poison.”
  • The Ass in the Lion’s Skin – In this story, the ass put on a lion’s skin and walked into the town. All were frightened of him until he brayed, revealing himself. The moral is, “When you talk too much, you can reveal too much.”
  • Bee-Keeper and the Bees – While a beekeeper was away, someone stole the honey. When the bees returned, they started stinging the beekeeper. He called them ungrateful because they let someone steal the honey and then attacked the person who looked after them. The moral is, “Things are not always what they seem.”
  • The Bundle of Sticks – On his deathbed, an old man had servants bring in a bundle of sticks. He told his sons to break the bundle and none could. He then asked them to untie the bundle, each take a stick and break it. They did that easily. The moral is “Union gives strength.”
  • The Cat-Maiden – The gods argued whether an animal could change its nature and turned a cat into a maiden. One god said she had changed but the other god let loose a mouse and the maiden pounced on it. The moral is “True nature will come out.”
  • The Country Mouse and the City Mouse – The town mouse takes the country mouse to the city to sample the fine food there. During the meal, two dogs scared the mice and the country mouse returned home, where he was safe. The moral is, “Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.”
  • The Eagle and the Crow – A crow saw an eagle grab a lamb and take it to his nest. The crow tried the same thing but was too weak and his feet got caught in the lamb’s fur. The shepherd took the crow and put him in a cage. The moral is, “Thoughtless imitation will end in danger.”
  • The Fisher and the Little Fish – A fisherman caught a little fish and the fish told him that he was too small to eat. He asked to be thrown back in until he got bigger. The fisher said no, because I have you now and may not catch you later. The moral is, “A little thing in hand is worth more than a great thing in prospect.”
  • The Fox and the Crow – The fox wanted the cheese on the crow’s mouth. He began to flatter her and asked her to sing. When she did, the cheese fell out of her mouth. The moral is, “Never trust a flatterer.”
  • The Golden Touch (King Midas) – Midas loved gold so much, he asked a fairy to grant his wish that everything he touched turned to gold. He was happy until he touched his daughter and she turned to gold. The moral is, “Be careful what you wish for.”
  • The Goose With the Golden Eggs – A man discovered his goose laid golden eggs and he sold them and became rich selling the golden egg that was laid every morning. Soon he wanted all the eggs and killed the goose to get them. The moral is, “Greed often over reaches itself.”
  • The Hare and the Tortoise – This is about a hare and a tortoise that race. The hare is so fast he gets smug and the slower tortoise wins. The moral is “Slow and steady wins the race.”
  • The Lion and the Mouse – The mouse promised to return the favor if the lion did not eat him. Later, the mouse chewed the ropes from a snare and freed the lion. The moral is, “Little friends may become great friends.”
  • The Man and the Wood – A man took an axe into the woods and asked the trees to give him one branch. They did and he fixed his axe and chopped the trees down. The moral is, “Do not give your enemy the means of destroying you.”
  • The Old Lion and the Fox – An old lion pretended to be sick and captured animals that showed him sympathy and put them in a sack to eat later. The fox saw the tracks led into the den and not away, so he tricked the lion into closing his eyes and rescued the animals. The moral is, “Using your head keeps you from making foolish or disastrous mistakes.”
  • The Sun and the Wind – The sun and the wind argued over who was stronger. They decided whoever could make a traveler take off his cloak would be stronger. The sun went behind a cloud and the wind only made the traveler clutch his cloak more. The sun came from behind the clouds and the traveler got hot and took off his cloak. The moral is, “Kindness effects more than severity.”
  • The Two Crabs – The mother crab told the child to walk straight. The child told her to set the example and he would follow. The moral is, “Example is the best precept.”
  • The Two Goats – Two goats crossed a bridge from opposite ends. They met in the middle and neither would budge, so they fell into the river and died. The moral is, “Being unwilling to compromise can lead to a dead end.”
  • The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – The wolf covered himself with a sheep skin. A lamb followed him and was eaten. The moral is, “Appearances often are deceiving.”

Now you have seen many different fables and learned the morals they they were written to convey.

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