Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aesop's Fables

I recently happened to get hands on Aesop's fables. It was fun to read them, then I saw the commonness in all of the stories which had mostly animals of all kinds as characters to impart moral education.

Intrigued, I searched the meaning of a FABLE and found it was pretty close to the above mentioned observation. I found the following meaning of Fable:

A fable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, that features animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.


Characteristics of a fable
* Its purpose is to impart a lesson or value, or to give sage advice.

* It also provide opportunities to laugh at human folly, when they supply
examples of behaviors to be avoided rather than emulated.

* It frequently have as their central characters animals that are given
anthropomorphic characteristics such as the ability to reason and speak.

Who is Aesop?

Coming to Aesop's Fables, we must answer the question, who is/was Aesop?
Aesop was a slave and a story-teller in ancient Greece during 5th century BC.
So these fables were told by Aesop and known as the Aesop's Fables.

Although, there is a lot of doubt about his existence, yet many of the stories do throw you into a pensive mood. Guess, after reading the stories I felt the emphasis must be laid upon the morals that can be derived from these stories.

I wonder why we always relate moral stories only children. I think even adults need these stories to assist in self-introspection! After all, its the adults who have to derive these morals from the stories and explain to the children!

Albeit, all stories are worth reading and contemplating upon, yet I chose a few of them to post here. Its not that there are no such stories elsewhere, but these being full of fancy animals and all, may appeal better to the children.

STORY - 1

The man and the lion


A man and a lion traveled together through the forest. They soon began to boast of their respective superiority to each other in strength and prowess. As they were disputing, they passed a statue carved in stone, which represented "A lion strangled by a man." The traveler pointed to it and said: "See there! How strong we are, and how we prevail over even the king of beasts." The Lion replied: "This statue was made by one of you men. If we lions knew how to erect statues, you would see the Man placed under the paw of the Lion."

Moral
One story is good, till another is told.



STORY - 2

The dog in the manger


A dog lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them. "What a selfish Dog!" said one of them to his companions; "he cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those who can eat."

Moral
In the last statement itself!


STORY - 3

The Miser


A MISER sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it. The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, "Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it."

Moral
In the last statement itself!!


Do you still think that these stories should be restricted only to children as we find the adults indulging in such behavior. Learning process is never bound by age and life is a continual learning process.

Guess, will post few more stories in the next post after a fortnight giving time to readers to contemplate and even better, contribute too!! :)

1 comment:

  1. all i can say is we are never too old to learn ...but like dennis asks ..if the adults dint learn it as kids ..what chance is there that they will learn now ???????

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