Aesop is considered the initiator of the fable as a literary form written.
These short pieces, usually with characters who are personified animals, with the explicit purpose of communicating a moral. Many of these tales are so famous that they have acquired in modern culture as saying; Some examples are the Fox and the grapes, the Grasshopper and the Ants. Many were also adapted from great writers of fairy tales (e.g. Phaedrus or Jean de La Fontaine).
Aesop's Fables have primarily didactic and educational purpose. This means that, in the narratives, we are continuously inspired by situations practical teaching, especially against the backdrop of a moral deterrent that is reflected on the physicality and the emotions of the characters. The exempla of Aesop are masterly in their smallness, reflect in elementary situations, all the characteristics of real life. The deception, the truth, the appearance, the foolishness and cunning: these characteristics are frequently abstract in Aesop, but all in correlation with the moral final, with an educational purpose.
In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
"Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"
"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."
"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "We have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger - while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.
An Ox came down to a reedy pool to drink. As he splashed heavily into the water, he crushed a young Frog into the mud. The old Frog soon missed the little one and asked his brothers and sisters what had become of him.
A great big monster, said one of them,
stepped on little brother with one of his huge feet!
Big, was he! said the old Frog, puffing herself up.
Was he as big as this?
Oh, much bigger! they cried.
The Frog puffed up still more.
He could not have been bigger than this, she said. But the little Frogs all declared that the monster was much, much bigger and the old Frog kept puffing herself out more and more until, all at once, she burst.
Do not attempt the impossible.
One day a countryman going to the nest of his goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he picked it up it was very heavy and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick had been played on him.
But he decided to take it home and soon discovered that it was an egg of pure gold.
Every morning the same thing occurred, and he grew rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.
The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. 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, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, 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 Tortoise, you know, carries his house on his back. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot leave home. They say that Jupiter punished him so, because he was such a lazy stay-at-home that he would not go to Jupiter's wedding, even when especially invited.
After many years, Tortoise began to wish he had gone to that wedding. When he saw how gaily the birds flew about and how the Hare and the Chipmunk and all the other animals ran nimbly by, always eager to see everything there was to be seen, the Tortoise felt very sad and discontented. He wanted to see the world too, and there he was with a house on his back and little short legs that could hardly drag him along.
One day he met a pair of Ducks and told them all his trouble.
We can help you to see the world, said the Ducks.
Take hold of this stick with your teeth and we will carry you far up in the air where you can see the whole countryside. But keep quiet or you will be sorry.
The Tortoise was very glad indeed. He seized the stick firmly with his teeth, the two Ducks took hold of it one at each end, and away they sailed up toward the clouds.
Just then a Crow flew by. He was very much astonished at the strange sight and cried:
This must surely be the King of Tortoises!
Why certainly... began the Tortoise.
But as he opened his mouth to say these foolish words he lost his hold on the stick, and down he fell to the ground, where he was dashed to pieces on a rock.
Foolish curiosity and vanity often lead to misfortune.
A Crow having stolen a bit of meat, perched in a tree and held it in her beak. AFox, seeing this, longed to possess the meat himself, and by a wily stratagem succeeded.
How handsome is the Crow, he exclaimed,
in the beauty of her shape and in the fairness of her complexion! Oh, if her voice were only equal to her beauty, she would deservedly be considered the Queen of Birds! This he said deceitfully; but the Crow, anxious to refute the reflection cast upon her voice, set up a loud caw and dropped the flesh.
The Fox quickly picked it up, and thus addressed the Crow:
My good Crow, your voice is right enough, but your wit is wanting.
There was once a little Kid whose growing horns made him think he was a grown-up Billy Goat and able to take care of himself. So one evening when the flock started home from the pasture and his mother called, the Kid paid no heed and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone.
He was all alone. The sun was sinking. Long shadows came creeping over the ground. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass. The Kid shivered as he thought of the terrible Wolf. Then he started wildly over the field, bleating for his mother. But not half-way, near a clump of trees, there was the Wolf!
The Kid knew there was little hope for him.
Please, Mr. Wolf, he said trembling,
I know you are going to eat me. But first please pipe me a tune, for I want to dance and be merry as long as I can.
The Wolf liked the idea of a little music before eating, so he struck up a merry tune and the Kid leaped and frisked gaily.
Meanwhile, the flock was moving slowly homeward. In the still evening air the Wolf's piping carried far. The Shepherd Dogs pricked up their ears. They recognized the song the Wolf sings before a feast, and in a moment they were racing back to the pasture. The Wolf's song ended suddenly, and as he ran, with the Dogs at his heels, he called himself a fool for turning piper to please a Kid, when he should have stuck to his butcher's trade.
Do not let anything turn you from your purpose.
A Wolf came upon a Lamb straying from the flock, and felt some compunction about taking the life of so helpless a creature without some plausible excuse; so he cast about for a grievance and said at last,
Last year, sirrah, you grossly insulted me.
That is impossible, sir, bleated the Lamb,
for I wasn't born then.
Well, retorted the Wolf,
you feed in my pastures.
That cannot be, replied the Lamb,
for I have never yet tasted grass.
You drink from my spring, then, continued the Wolf.
Indeed, sir, said the poor Lamb,
I have never yet drunk anything but my mother's milk.
Well, anyhow, said the Wolf,
I'm not going without my dinner: and he sprang upon the Lamb and devoured it without more ado.
Why in the world do you walk sideways like that? said a Mother Crab to her son.
You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out.
Show me how to walk, mother dear, answered the little Crab obediently,
I want to learn.
So the old Crab tried and tried to walk straight forward. But she could walk sideways only, like her son. And when she wanted to turn her toes out she tripped and fell on her nose.
Do not tell others how to act unless you can set a good example.
Spring and Winter seasons are two completely opposite that have never managed to find the correct harmony to get along. Fortunately they must live, in fact, when it appears a must humbly withdraw.
One day Mr. Winter came face to face with the young miss Spring. The old season, with his masterly air took to saying:
My dear friend, you do not know to be decisive and determined. When it comes your annual period, people and animals take the opportunity to rush out from their homes or from their dens and feeding in those fields that you, with so much care, proceeded to flourish. They capture the young shrubs, mercilessly trample grass and absorb every ray of that blazing sun which, with your arrival becomes warmer. Your fruit is horrifyingly collected and eaten, and finally, with the noise and the chaos that all do, not even allow you to rest in peace. Instead they scare of me and respect me with my fog, my cold and my frost. People prefere at home and almost never comes out for fear of bad weather, and so I can stay relax andt quiet.
The beautiful and sweet Spring, hit by those words, he replied:
my coming is desired by all the people that love me. You can't even imagine what it means to be so much appreciated. It's a wonderful feeling that you'll ever try because with the cold that ports at your arrival even warmer hearts makes cold. Winter not said nothing and stopped to reflect. Perhaps, being admired and loved by others, could also be a nice feeling.
To gain respect and love does not need to use force and strike fear however the best results are obtained with the goodness in sensitivity.