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The 5 Best Aesop's Fables to Learn From

Updated on August 4, 2014

Without a doubt, learning is one of the most important things in life: whether it's maths, art, sports or more importantly life lessons. We are never too old to learn. One of my personal favorite way of learning is through fables! Fables are always fun and exciting; they also have important morals and messages beautifully sewn between the words - what's not to love?

In no particular order, here are everyone's favorite Aesop's fables with powerful morals for us to make use of in our everyday life!

The Eagle and the Jackdaw

One fine day, a mighty eagle dove down with great speed and snatched a sheep up into the air with its powerful talons. The jackdaw watched in envy and muttered to itself, "I can do better than that!" Consequently, it precisely imitated the eagle's move and attempted to snatch up an equally large sheep. Hence the lack of strength, the jackdaw failed and ended up with its talons stuck in the sheep's skin. The farmer, alarmed, rushed to the sheep and successfully captured the jackdaw. He took it home to show his kids. "I captured this fool; he tried to attack my sheep," he boasted to his children. "What bird is it?" they asked. "A jackdaw but let's pretend he's an eagle so we don't hurt his feelings!" They all laughed causing great embarrassment to the jackdaw.

Moral: Thoughtlessly imitating someone you are not can result in embarrassing failure and potentially danger.

The Goat and the Donkey

Once upon a time, there lived a goat and donkey that shared the same owner. The goat envied the donkey because the owner regularly fed the donkey delicious meals. On the other hand, the owner only fed the goat moldy bread just to keep him barely alive. "Our owner made you work so hard. You had to carry so many heavy things today. I feel bad for you, why don't you jump down the cliff the injure yourself? You don't have to work that way," the goat advised. Believing the goat, the donkey took his advice and jumped off the cliff. He broke his leg. The owner hurried to help the donkey. Discovering that he was severely injured, he quickly sent a letter to the doctor in town. He visited the donkey and told the owner that the only way he was going to make it was if he ate goat lung soup. Therefore, he slaughtered the goat to make the recipe.

Moral: Attempting to cause harm to others can result in your own misfortune.

The Ant and the Ladybird

During the fall, the ant was working hard collecting food in preparation for the winter. The ladybird flew by and laughed at the ant. "You must be mad to be working during fall. You are supposed to be having fun with your friends; not working, you miserable insect." With that said, it flew away out of the ant's sight. When winter arrived, the ant feasted on the food it collected during fall. The ladybird came by again and this time, it begged for food. "Ant, I know you will be kind enough to offer me some food! I've been starving for a long time already," it said. "During the fall, you were fooling around instead of collecting food; it is best to prepare for the time of necessity" it replied. The ladybird regretted its choice; it should have done what the ant did.

Moral: Preparing for the future will benefit you when the time arrives; not doing so can lead to regret.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

There was a shepherd boy who was looking after a herd of sheep. Since he was incredibly bored, he decided to prank the master. He ran to his master's home and started pulling a false alarm. "There are wolves attacking the herd! Help, help!" he started yelling. Alarmed, the master and the whole village darted to the herd only to hear a loud laughter. "How funny! You believed me," he laughed. The next day, he did the same thing. Although the villagers and master had already been pranked, they still believed that it could be true. Like the day before, they only ran to the herd to be laughed at. On the third day, a wolf really did pounce out of the underbrush and attacked the sheep. "Wolf! Wolf!" the child screamed. "We're not going to fall for it again," they said. No matter how much the child convinced them, they would not believe him. By the time the child returned, most of his sheep were killed by the wolf.

Moral: Liars are not believed even when they speak the truth.

The Hare and the Tortoise

Once upon a time, there lived an egotistic hare who was boasting about how he could run faster than anyone else. He always teased the tortoise about how slow the tortoise was. One day, the tortoise decided to speak up, "Although you may be swift, it is undeniable that you can be beaten." The hare giggled, "By whom? You?" The tortoise nodded and challenged the hare to a race. When the race begun, the tortoise was far behind the hare. After discovering that the tortoise was out of the hare's sight, he decided to take a nap under the tree. He said to himself, "It will take that mad tortoise ages before he can catch up. A nap couldn't do much harm, can it?" Whilst the hare was snoring away under the tree, the tortoise, slow and steady, managed to pass the hare. By the time the hare woke up, the tortoise was about to finish the race. Even though the hare ran for its life, it was already too late. The tortoise was crowned the winner of the race.

Moral: Even when winning seems almost impossible, it is always better to try because there is still a chance you can win. Oppositely, even when you think you are way better than your opponent, always give it your best unlike the Hare who slept because he thought he was going to win.

Hopefully, these thought-provoking stories have taught you a lesson you never thought was important. Although these stories are obviously fiction, we can learn from the characters and how they behave. By reading these, you are deliberately regaining many morals people have lost. Don't try to imitate others; be yourself. Don't attempt to cause harm to others, it can come your way. Always prepare for the time of necessity before it is too late. No one will believe you when you need help if you frequently lie to them. Finally: keep trying and never give up!


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    • Frederick Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Palis Pisuttisarun 

      4 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Thank you Jodah, I am glad you have enjoyed the stories. I agree, they have very important morals that should be passed down the generations. I love Aesop's Fables too!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Frederick, these fables have very good moral lessons that have passed down the generations and are always relevant. Thank you for sharing these as an important reminder. I always loved Aesop's fables. Voted up.


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