Task One

Task One: Story Telling: Fables

In this research I plan to find out what a fable is and how they are different to fairy tales and folk tales.

A fable by definition is, “a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters”

What are Fables?
Fables are short stories which illustrate a particular moral and teach a lesson to children and kids. The theme and characters appeal to children and the stories are often humorous and entertaining for kids of all ages. Fables can also be described as tales or yarns which have a message in their narrative such as a parable might have. Fables can often pass into our culture as myths and legends and used to teach about morals to children and kids.


Famous fables:

  • The fox and the Grapes, “It is easy to despise what you cannot get”
  • The tortoise and the hare,  “Slow and steady wins the race”
  • The Lion and the mouse, “little friends may prove great friends”
  • The any and the Dove, “one good deed deserves another”
  • The Boy who cried wolf, “a liar will not be believed, even when telling the truth”

These are just a few out of many, we come across these when we are little and it helps us teach us how to be a decent human being through the morals at the end of each one. Out of all of the fables listed above, the tortoise and the hare is probably the most famous. However I after re-reading the fable “The boy and the nettles” I have found that the moral in that is just as important then any of the listed as it teaches you “whatever you do, do it with all your might”.

“A fable is explained as a short narrative making an edifying or cautionary point and often employing as characters animals that speak and act like human beings, or a story about legendary persons and exploits. Examples of fables are those of Aesop’s Fables with more than 600 narratives, including “The Goose with the Golden Eggs” and “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” The word fable is derived from fabula, which is Latin for ‘discourse’, and is used in literary criticism to refer to the actual events that take place in a narrative. “The Lion King” is another notable fable. A fairy tale is described as a fanciful tale of legendary deeds and creatures, usually intended for children, or a fictitious, highly fanciful story or explanation. It usually involves mythical characters such as elves, fairies, giants, goblins, or trolls. A famous collection of fairy tales is that of Hans Christian Andersen, including “The Emperor’s New Suit,” “The Princess and the Pea,” and “The Ugly Duckling.” Another collection offairy tales is that of the Brothers Grimm. The term fairy tale is a rendering of a French term conte de fées.”


I have discovered through my research that the majority of fable characters are animals and that those animals are symbols for different characteristics of peoples personality. For example…

  • A lion is noble

  • A rooster is boastful

  • A peacock is proud

  • A fox is cunning

  • A wolf is fierce

  • A horse is brave

  • A donkey is hard-working


I have also noticed that we refer to fables in everyday life for example whne we are met with a liar some people will say “don’t cry wolf” which is a direct reference to “The boy who cried wolf” who was a massive liar an he eventually got in massive trouble for lying.

In my research I have met my targets and have discovered what a fable is and what defines it against a fairy tale, i have also found out why most fables use talking animals, what they symbolise and how we still use fables in everyday life carrying them with us though our childhood to teenage years and adult hood.


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