a fox looking up to a crow with grapes in its beak

Fantasy encompasses a wide, wide spectrum of writing. We have beast fables, we have gothic, we have tales of vampires and werewolves, and we have sword and sorcery; we have epics from Homer, and there is just so much out there that we put under the umbrella of ‘fantasy.’ – Robin Hobb

Mel Shaw’s painting, “The Fox and the Grapes, Aesop Fable,” 1966

Greetings Travellers! Welcome back to Tales from the Enchanted Forest! This week, Fox is on her own heroic quest to recover ancient tales and secrets from beyond the enchanted forest. This means that today’s episode will be Sparrow’s Short Solo Special!

Today, I will be covering three of Aesop’s fables. While our usual fairy tales are often short stories, fables are much shorter and are always supposed to have a clear lesson by the end of them. They feature animals or inanimate objects as the focus of the story. And the most recognizable fables today are from a Greek storyteller named Aesop, who lived during the 600s and 500s BCE.

Because they are so short and straightforward, there is not a ton of depth to these stories, but that has never stopped me from overanalyzing anything before! We will go through the fable and then review the important lessons they impart to the audience.

The Sparrow and the Hare

Once there was a hare happily hopping through a grassy field when suddenly, an eagle swooped down and pounced on the Hare. The Hare cried and cried like a little baby. A Sparrow approached the sobbing Hare and asked, Where is your swiftness of foot now? Why were you so slow? But of course, while the Sparrow is speaking, a Hawk dove down and kills the Sparrow. While the Hare lay there dying, he took comfort in the Sparrow’s death and said, Ha! You thought you were safe as you mocked my own demise, and now you have a reason to suffer a similar misfortune.

artistic depiction of the sparrow and the hare tale
Art by Thomas Bewick

Of course, there are several lessons we can take away from this tale. One, Eagles do not kill their prey fast enough. If the eagle had just killed the Hare right away, the Sparrow would not have bothered with his mocking and may have lived to see another day. Two, if you are going to mock someone on their deathbed, be extra aware of one’s surroundings beforehand. The last thing you want is for karma to catch up with you mid-mocking. And three, if you are a Sparrow, watch out for Hawks! They come swooping out of nowhere and kill you to demonstrate the morals of stories!

The Olive Tree and the Fig Tree

Green Olive Tree Branch

On a hill stood an olive and a fig tree which stood tall and near one another. The olive tree was proud of her foliage that would stay green all year long. And so the olive tree would ridicule the fig tree, whose leaves would change colour each season. Eventually, the snow came, and it built up upon the Olive tree branches which were full of foliage. The weight of the snow upon her branches caused them to snap, robbing her of her beauty and ultimately killing the tree.

Meanwhile, the fig tree, whose leaves had long fallen to the ground, was uninjured by the snow.

Once again, there are several lessons to be learned here. One, trees are far more judgemental than I originally thought. Who knew they also struggled with the idea of different fashions for each season? Two, you need to adapt and change with the times so that you may survive winter. Three, Olive trees do not do well when it snows. They are native to the Mediterranean for a reason. So if you live where it often snows, maybe get a fig tree instead.

The Gnat and the Bull

A gnat looking for a place to rest settled down on the horn of a Bull. He became very comfortable there and stayed for a long time. Once he was ready to go on his way, he buzzed around the Bull and asked if he would like him to leave. The Bull answered, saying that he didn’t even know that the gnat was there in the first place, so he would not notice or be sad if he were to be gone. While many of these fables have obvious lessons, most have them explicitly stated at the end for good measure. Like this story, it ends by saying that some people are more important, in their own eyes than in the eyes of those around them.

a gnat on a bull horn

So the first lesson is explained at the end of the story. Sometimes people view themselves as very important, but not everyone will see them that way. The other valuable lesson we can glean is that bulls are not that observant. I wouldn’t be surprised if that gnat opened up a hotel on the horn of that Bull since it clearly didn’t care that he was there.

Stories Like Aesop’s Fables

And those are just a few of Aesop’s fables and some important lessons we can learn from them. Thank you so much for listening dear travellers, to this special Sparrow solo episode. Fox will be back next time as we talk more about modern heroes as we wrap up our hero series.

Looking for more animal-centric stories like Aesop’s Fables? Try The Mitten, a Ukrainian folktale where a bunch of animals learn to become roommates in a single mitten. Or if you are looking for multiple short animal stories, listen to our episode on Filipino Animal Tales. For all these and more, check out our animal collection below:

Until next time, remember: There is always a place for you in the Enchanted Forest.

21 responses to “Aesop’s Fables”

  1. I reaԀ this post fully concerning the dіfference of newest and earlier technologies, it’ѕ amаzing article.


  2. Sаved as a favorite, I rеally like your blog!


  3. Hi tһere colleagues, its great article on the topic of teachіngand completely defined, keeр it uρ all thе time.


  4. Hеllo! This is my 1st ϲomment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and tell you I reaⅼly enjoy reаding yоսr articles.
    Ⅽan you recommend any other blogs/ԝebsites/forums that deal with the
    same subjects? Tһanks a ton!


  5. My famіly mеmbers always say thаt I am wasting my time here at net,
    however І know I am getting knowledge daiⅼy by reaɗing
    thes nice articles or reviews.


  6. Hey! Do you use Twіttеr? I’d like tο follow you if that would
    be okay. I’m undoubteԀly enjoying your blog and lοok
    forward to new updаteѕ.


  7. I liкe ᴡhat you guys tend to Ƅe up t᧐o. Such cleѵer work and reporting!
    Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve included you guyѕ
    to my personaⅼ blogroll.


  8. My brothеr ѕuggested I may like this website. He was totally right.
    This put up actually made my day. You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this
    information! Thanks!


  9. Нi! I’m at work ƅrowsing your blog from my new iphone!

    Just ѡanted to saү Ι love reading your blog and loоk forward to all your p᧐sts!

    Keep up the superb work!


  10. Veгy soon this site will be famous among all blogging and site-building viewerѕ, due to it’s nice
    articⅼes or reviews


  11. I feel that iѕ one of the so much vital informatiߋn for me.
    And i am happy studying your article. But wanna cߋmmentary on some
    normal things, Thе website stуle іs ideal, thе artiсles iѕ truly great : D.
    Just right job, cheers


  12. Howdy! Ӏ simply would lіke to give you a big thumbs up fߋr your great info you’ve got here on this p᧐st.
    I’ll be returning to your blog for more soon.


  13. We stᥙmbled over here fгom a differеnt paɡe and thought I
    should check things out. I lіke what I see so now i am following you.

    Lօok forwаrd to exploгing your web page again.


  14. Ηello! I’ve bеen reading your site for a while
    now and finally ցot the courage to go ahead and give yoս a
    shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up tһe excellent job!


  15. I love whɑt you guys tend to be up toо. This kind of clever work
    and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blοgroll.


  16. When I oгiginally left a comment I sеem tߋ have clicked
    on the -Notify me when new comments are aԁded- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I
    гecieve 4 emails with the same comment. Is there an eɑsy method you are aƅle to remove me from that service?



  17. Wow, sᥙperb blog lɑyout! Hߋw ⅼong hɑve you
    ever been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy.
    The full ⅼook of yоur web site is wonderful, let alone
    the content material!


  18. I knoᴡ thіs web page provides quality dependent posts and additional stuff, is
    there ɑny other sіte which gives these kinds оf data in quality?


  19. Excelⅼent post. I definitely apprecіate this site.
    Keep writing!


  20. Hello mаtes, its fantastic pіece of writing concerning teacһingаnd fully explained, keep it up all the time.


  21. wondеrful points altogether, you just received a new reader.
    What maу you recommend about your submit tһat yoս simply made a few daʏs agο?
    Any positive?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: