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About fables

A fable is a fictional story, that often features animals, mythical creatures or forces of nature. These creatures are given human qualities, they can talk think and act like humans. The creatures are often stereotypes of human characteristics. They are sometimes clever and brave, sometimes selfish and stubborn... These stories often illustrate or lead to an interpretation of a moral lesson. What is special about fables is, that fables are one of the most enduring forms of folk literature. They spread abroad just by oral transmission and have done so in the last thousand of years. Fables can be found in the literature of almost every country of the world. While the fable has been often trivialized in many children's books, fables have also been adapted to literature. Famous fables are for example:

  • Felix Salten's Bambi (1923) - coming-of-age story)
  • James Thurber's Fables for Our Time (1940)
  • George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945) - critic on totalitarianism, in the guise of animal fable

Famous Fabulists are for example:

    • Aesop
    • Leonardo da Vinci
    • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
    • Hans Christian Andersen
    • Leo Tolstoy

What we can learn from fables?

Fables contain a clear moral or lesson, which often has survived for centuries. The theme of a fable is a "life message" that you get after reading and reflecting. From every fable you can learn a different kind of lesson. However, there is one more practical aspect about what we can learn from fables. Since they are often easy to comprehend, we can also read them for fun and improve our language skills.