Fables

Fables

Collected by Rohini Chowdhury

A fable is a story that points out some aspect of human behaviour and has a moral attached to it. It usually features animals who talk and think like humans. A fable is often instructional, and gives advice on how to deal with  life situations in the real world. Traditionally, fables are not told only to children; rather, they are considered more relevant for grown-ups! In modern times, though, many regard fables to be meant for children only, mainly because of the presence of animals in the tales. 

Fables have been used to teach life skills from ancient times. Travellers and traders carried these stories from one land to another, so that we often find the same story in countries as far apart as China and Greece. The stories of the Sanskrit Panchatantram, from ancient India, are perhaps some of the oldest fables known to us today. Other well-known collections include Aesop’s fables from ancient Greece, the fables of Phaedrus from ancient Rome, and the relatively recent collection by La Fontaine from 17th century France.

 

The Panchatantram

The Panchatantram

Composed in Sanskrit in India around 300 CE, the Panchatantram is one of the oldest collections of fables in the world. Some of the tales in it …More

Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables

Aesop is the supposed author of a collection of animal fables which, like the Sanskrit Panchatantram, teach shrewdness and worldly wisdom. According to the Greek historian …More

The Fables of Phaedrus

The Fables of Phaedrus

Phaedrus (c. 15 BCE – 50 CE) lived in ancient Rome and was the first person to translate into Latin and put into verse whole …More

The Fables of La Fontaine

The Fables of La Fontaine

Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a French poet, but is remembered mainly for his Fables, a work which is considered to be one of …More