Aesop was an ancient Greek storyteller who was is believed to have lived around 500 B.C. He was a Phrygian slave. He was owned by two different masters before gaining his freedom due to his intelligence. He went from place to place telling his fables to the masses however it is also widely believed that he did not write most of them, he just collected them. Aesop’s fables were used to offer advice to their audience. He supposedly met his death by being thrown a cliff at Delphi for being ugly and deformed. Over the centuries Aesop’s fables have been rewritten, illustrated and translated into every language in the world.
A fable is a short story. Fables typically involve animals with human like qualities. Usually in a fable, the time and the place are unspecified. Often fables illustrate how smaller and weaker characters use their intelligence to defeat the bigger and more powerful characters. There is always a hero, a villain, a character with a weakness and most importantly a moral. A moral is a lifelong lesson.
The most common characters found in fables are:
There are always good characters and evil characters.
Examples of good characters:
Examples of evil characters:
Write your own fable:
Character with a weakness:
The Lion and Mouse
A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came upon him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Roused from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.
“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will surely repay you.”
The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.
Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in the toils of a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she gnawed it until it parted, and soon the Lion was free.
“You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”
“A kindness is never wasted”
Click here for more children’s plays based on Aesop’s fables.