read aesop's fables

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Who was Aesop?
Aesop was a Greek folk hero who is supposed to have lived in the 6th century BC. He was a teller of animal fables. Through these many fables, Aesop showed the wise and foolish behavior of people, and taught a lesson in the form of a moral.

Aesop's Fables have been translated into almost every language in the world.

The Hare and the Tortoise

The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten," said he, " I challenge any one here to race with me." The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge." "That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way." "Keep your boasting till you've beaten," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run
up in time to save the race. Then said the Tortoise: Plodding wins the race.

The Dove and the Ant
An Ant, going to a river to drink, fell in, and was carried along in the stream. A Dove felt sorry for her , and threw a small leaf into the riverby means of which the Ant gained the shore. The Ant afterward, seeing a man with a gun aiming at the Dove, stung him in the foot sharply, and made him shout aloud , and so saved the
Dove's life.
"Little friends may prove great friends."

The Fox and the Goat
A FOX one day fell into a deep well and could fnot get out . A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well, and seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Oh Yes ! said the Fox ,it is excellent! , Come down. The Goat, without thinking jumped down, but just as he drank, the Fox informed him othat there was no way out and suggested a plan for their escape. "If," said he, "you will place your front feet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards." The Goat agreed and the Fox leaped upon his back. Steadying himself with the Goat's horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well and made off as fast as he could. When the Goat scolded him for breaking his promise, he said
"You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down before you had checked the way up.
Moral : Look before you leap. [top]

Writing Activities

Writing Your Own Fable:

Write a fable of your own. Use animal characters to illustrate human traits, and be sure there is a lesson to be learned.
Examples created by some students:

The Fox and the Lamb by G. McBride

There was once a hungry fox who was stalking a herd of sheep. Once he was close enough, he pounced on one of the younger lambs who had strayed away from the flock. Because he was so far away from the flock, no one could hear him call and come help him, so the lamb was devoured by the fox.
Moral: When you stray away from your flock with out telling anyone, you may be putting yourself in great danger.

The Foolish Monkey by C. Watkins
Once upon a time, there was a colony of monkeys living in the jungle. One paticular monkey was thought to be a fool, because he never talked. One day, the lion called a meeting of all the beasts of the jungle. The Lion opened the meeting by asking a question. The monkey immediately sat up and stated his opinion, and proved what a fool he was indeed.
Moral: Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it

The Monkey and the Pickle Jar by A. Ullrich

There once was a monkey who lived in the forest who always bragged about how smart he was. One day the monkey found a pickle jar with a handful of pickles left inside. The monkey was extremely fond of pickles. The monkey put his hand in the jar and grabbed all the pickles. When he lifted his hand, it wouldn't come out. He wasn't sure what to do, so he started yelling, "Help, help, my hand is stuck!" Then suddenly a little rabbit came by and looked over the situation. After carefully reviewing the jar and monkey's hand, the rabbit said, "Poor, poor monkey. Trapped by your own greed and stupidity. Let go of the pickles and you'll be free." And he was.

Moral: Don't ever brag about yourself because some day you might need someone's help.



Journal Entry:

Think for a minute about what kind of animal you most identify with. Write in a paragraph which animal you think you are and why. What personality traits, as well as physical traits, do you think of when you think of a pig? a horse? a sheep? a donkey? a cow? a goat? a dog?

Recognizing the Moral in a Fable:

Below are some brief versions of Aesop's fables. After reading these stories, decide what you think the moral is and write it on your paper.

1. One day a hungry fox was walking through a vineyard. Hanging on the vines were bunches of delicious looking grapes. Wanting very much to eat these grapes, he jumped and tried to reach them but they were too high for him. He tried again and again to snatch them from the vine but he was unsuccessful. Disgusted he turned away saying, "I'm sure this old grapes were sour." Moral?

2. After fishing all day, the fisherman finally caught a very small fish. The fish, terribly upset, pleaded with the fisherman and said, "Please throw me back into the sea. When I become a large fish, you can catch me again and I will make a better meal for you." The fishman laughed and said, "A small meal today is better than taking a chance on a larger meal next month." Moral?

3. A crow snatched a piece of cheese and flew with it into a tree. She was about to take a bite when a fox saw her and called out. "Good morning, beautiful crow. How lovely you look today! Your eyes and feathers are beyond compare and I'm sure your voice is as beautiful as you are. Please sing just one song for me," he pleaded. The foolish crow was flattered and she lifted her lead, opened her mouth, and began to caw. The cheese immediately fell from her mouth to be snatched up by the sly fox. Moral?