“Once upon a time when everything could talk, the Wind and Sun fell into an argument as to which was the stronger…”
“A certain Wolf, being very hungry, disguised himself in a Sheep’s skin and joined a flock of sheep…”
“A mischievous Shepherd’s Boy use to amuse himself by calling, ‘Wolf, Wolf’….”
“A Hare was once boasting about how fast he could run when a Tortoise, overhearing him, said, ‘I’ll run you a race.” “Done,” said the Hare…”
Source: Anthology of Children’s Literature 4th Edition, 1970, Houghton Mifflin Company.
Well, hello again. I just quoted some very famous fables for that is what tales with a purpose are. Two great volumes from the ancient world are the Greek Aesop’s Fables, written three centuries after they were told in 300 B.C. and the Indian Panchatantra or Five Books, written in the beginning of the time of Christ. Eastern fables are known as the Jataka tales.
Aesop, a black slave to a Greek master, gave us a clever observation on life. How I would have loved to have listened to this man tell his very short stories with a moral.
May I suggest three fables for you to read? The first is the mice plan to hide from a cat. They are bothered whenever the cat approaches. A young mouse suggests they put a bell around the neck to hear him coming. All the mice agreed, yet an old mouse points out a problem in Belling the Cat.
The storyteller Apion, born in ancient Rome, gives us the story Androcles and the Lion. Androcles, a runaway slave, hides in the forest for safety. He notices a lion in pain. The lion puts out a torn and bloody paw. Androcles removed a thorn, much to the lion’s relief. Discover why they felt mutual kindness and gratitude by reading this fable.
And some fables are closer to our time. In 1852, John G. Saxe wrote The Blind Men and the Elephant about how each blind man “sees” something different about this gigantic creature. Check out this fascinating story that shows both truth and falsehood in opinion.
All of us, both children and adults, need to hear stories with a purpose, lessons of life in all its forms to teach.