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A Department for Story Tellers
of the Fable
Laura F. Kready
Author of "A Study of Fairy Tales”
(Book rights reserved) Part I
“Content are we to fall asleep,
And well content to wake no more,
We do not laugh, we do not weep,
Nor look behind us and before; of the type to child-study; (3) the main great contributions of this type; (4) the possible reaction of the child
"But were there cause for moan or mirth
'Tis we, not you, should sigh or scom, to the study of the fable; (5) individual fables, examples
Oh, latest children of the Earth of forms, quotations; and (6) proverbs.
Most childish children Earth has borne." The fable is the simplest type of animal story. As a literary form it is especially interesting, because the type
They spoke, but that misshapen Slave has taken its characteristics from the classic which first
Told never of the thing he heard, expressed its story in that form, “Æsop's Fables.” And
And unto men their portraits gave,
In likenesses of beast and bird! while the form is marked by great simplicity and the classic a single volume, yet learned authors like Goldsmith and Dr. Johnson, critics like Bentley and Lessing, and great
The beast fable arose in a primitive age, when men men like Martin Luther, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham firmly believed that beasts could talk and reason. Most Lincoln have spent their time upon it and considered it a
nations developed the beast-tale as part of their folk-lore, literary model of the latter it is said that “Æsop's when the story was told for its own sake. But there were Fables” developed in him that remarkable love for stories
two nations who are especial examples of making a general for which he was so famous all his life. No single book practice of using the beast-tale to teach a moral truth. except the Scriptures has had such widespread popularity. These two nations were Greece and India, and in both Indeed it ranks as one of the five great European books of
nations the fable, through special circumstances, was raised
from folk-lore into literature. the world, the Scriptures, “Æsop's Fables," and “Robinson Crusoe" being the first three.
As a literary form the fable is to be distinguished from Addison has said: "Among all the different ways of
the proverb, the parable, and the story. The parable is giving counsel I think the finest and that which pleases intended to convey a hidden or secret meaning other than most universally, is the fable, in whatever shape it appears.'
that contained in the words themselves; it is a truth set “The flower of subjects is enough," said La Fontaine.
forth allegorically to teach something of the higher life. Babrius has said of “Æsop's Fables":
The tale is a narration of events, either real or imaginary,
long or short, with a moral purpose or without. The fable 'Twas the Golden Age when every brute
is a highly specialized form of the story, it is a short narrative Had voice articulate, in speech was skilled,
with a distinct moral purpose to represent human motive And the mid-forests with its synods filled,
and to improve human conduct, or to create a laugh. It The tongues of rock and pine-leaf then were free, To ship and sailor then would speak the sea;
is a maxim of practical wisdom or truth in the concrete Sparrows with farmers would shrewd talk maintain;
form of a story. The characters of a fable are animals, Earth gave all fruits, nor asked for toil again.
who must possess their natural attributes, yet be presented Mortals and gods were wont to mix as friends,
so as to show man his own humanity reflected in the To which conclusion all the teaching tends Of sage old Æsop.
beasts. As Felix Adler has put it: “The peculiar value
of the fables is that they are instantaneous photographs, Andrew Lang, speaking of the opportunities Æsop missed, which reproduce, as it were, in a single flash of light, some has written the following as introduction to Caxton's
one aspect of human nature, and which, excluding everyÆsop's Fables,” by Joseph Jacobs:
thing else, permit the entire attention to be fixed on that
The fable, therefore, must be a narrative marked by
unity, simplicity, and great clearness to make its moral The pranks of butterfly and bird,
transparent. Its characters must be rather few and disThe humors of the ape, the daw.
tinctive, exhibiting a few very distinguishing traits. Its
animals must have the power of speech and its rocks and And in the lion or the frog — In all the life of moor and fen,
trees are endowed with life. All the parts of the narrative In ass and peacock, stork and log,
of the fable must intensify the moral, to make it stand out He read similitudes of men.
with force. Dodsley has said: “ 'Tis the simple manner
in which the morals of Æsop are interwoven with his “Of these, from these,” he cried, "we come,
fables that distinguishes him and gives him the preference Our hearts, our brains descend from these." And lol the Beasts no more were dumb,
over all other mythologists. His Crow, when she drops But answered out of brakes and trees;
her cheese, lets fall, as it were by accident, the strongest
admonition against the power of flattery.” While the “Not ours," they cried; "Degenerate,
characters of the animals are made to depict the motives If ours at all,” they cried again, “Ye fools, who war with God and Fate,
and passions of men, they retain in an eminent degree Who strive and toil; strange race of men,
their own special features of craft or counsel, of cowardice
or courage, of generosity or rapacity. Unity of design, “For we are neither bond nor free,
the moral closely woven in with the narrative, and wise For we have neither slaves nor kings, But near to Nature's heart are we,
choice in the introduction of animals, constitute the main And conscious of her secret things.
excellency of the “Fables of Æsop."
While the fable is truth stated in story form, the proverb of Æsop, he should receive it, the person who at last came is truth in gnomic or general terms. Both are a form of forward was Iadmon, the grandson of the former Iadmon metaphor. If you take a fable and extract its meaning the Samian, and he received the compensation. Perhaps you get a proverb. If you take a proverb and amplify it, in this connection it might be interesting to note that in make it concrete, you get a fable. The fable is the imagina- the judgment of some, the piece of English prose which tive or poetic expression, the proverb the scientific and surpasses all others in sheer beauty of language and porreflective expression of a given truth.
trayal of emotion and imagination, is the imaginary conThe presentation of the fable is of value to the child, versation, entitled "Æsop and Rhodope ," an imaginary first, because it assists to a cultivation of the imagination, conversation between Asop and Rhodope, by Walter it leads the child to put himself in another's place and thus Savage Landor. This conversation is of especial interavoid selfishness and hard-heartedness, it develops sym- est here, as it draws the character of Æsop as very wise pathy and the power of realization; secondly, it develops and good and trustworthy. emotion and the discrimination of emotion in others, it Æsop is supposed to have been born about 620 B.C., at gives a power of action and perception; thirdly, it teaches Sardis, on the island of Samos. He was brought to Athens great truths which are part of the wisdom of the
and and enfranchised by Iadmon, the Samian, his master's the tested experience of the race; fourthly, it acts as a grandson. moral stimulant and helps to stimulate the formation of Æsop did not write down the fables; we do not know of ideals; and fifthly, in its study the child feels himself a any written collection of fables he made. He told them brother to the beasts, a comrade to nature, to the trees, as they were handed down to him from generation to plants and animals, and thus it develops his humanity. generation, by oral tradition. He did not invent the
The fable as a literary form is perhaps better suited to fables, for they were in Greece before him. He made them the child than any other form. It is simple, direct, has current and popular, and put them to a new use. In his unity, has one point, few characters, and does not go into day free speech was becoming established in democracies unnecessary detail
. It speaks to the imagination in giving like Greece, but as yet tyrants ruled. Æsop used the a few pictures with large strokes and with picturesqueness; fable with a distinct motive, to prove a point in an harangue, it appeals to the emotions because it impresses a single or to create a jest, or in after-dinner speeches. Later it emotion very forcibly; its truth is concerned with the
was used by scholars with their pupils as an exercise in familiar beasts and our own hearts, so it is easily com- oratory, style, and grammar. The fable early became prehended; it has the quality of humor and demands of associated with the name of Æsop, because he made use of its audience a mental keenness, a rapidity of attention and it as a political weapon. Socrates, when in prison, had perception; and its form is not so lengthy, therefore it tried to put in verse some of the fables of Æsop he rememdoes not become wearisome to the child.
bered. And a reference in Aristophanes shows that The main contributions to literature of this type Athenian audiences connected Beast-Fable with the name are the fables of Greece, “The Fables of Æsop, and the Æsop. Mr. Jacobs considers the mirth-producing quality fables of India, "The Fables of Bidpai.” Fables of all of the fable as the reason for its association with the name nations are interesting, fables of China, Japan, Persia, of Æsop by the Greeks and Romans. The Beast-Fable is Russia, and the North American Indian; they have all a form of the Jest, and in all ages it has been the tendency entered into, literature. As Thackeray, in “The New- of the floating jest to cling round a name, as Poggio, Skelton, comes," has said: “So the tales were told ages before Peele, the Widow Edyth, and Joe Miller. The fables of Æsop, and asses under lions' names roared in Hebrew; Æsop do not appear in the classic writers of his day because and sly foxes flattered in Etruscan; and wolves in sheeps? they were a form of folk-lore current among the people. clothing gnashed their teeths in Sanskrit, no doubt.” Writers did not tell their audiences what they assumed was But the history of the fable has shown that all classic so well-known and familiar. fables — and the transmission of the fable has been almost
Æsop traveled and visited Athens, where he told to the entirely literary can trace back to Greece and India.
citizens who complained of the rule of Pisistratus, the Since this is true, the child should make a study principally "Fable of King Log and King Stork.” Many very inof "The Fables of Æsop” and “The Fables of Bidpai.” teresting stories are told displaying the wisdom and cleverIn modern times we have the “Fables of LaFontaine,” ness of Æsop in replying to the questions or commands of French classics which have no English counterpart; “The his masters. These appear in the life of Æsop in TownFables of John Gay,” English, and the more recent “Fables send's edition and come from the life by Planudes. These of Bulwer Lytton.' In this study we shall limit ourselves all testify to the homeliness of his person, the brilliancy to Asop, Bidpai, and Lafontaine, with a quotation from Gay of his mind, capable of sublime ideas, his keen judgment,
and unusual common-sense. Æsop and the Fables of Æsop
Æsop won his freedom. On a day of public fasting References
among the citizens of Samos, an eagle descended, Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature
snatched up the public ring, and later dropped it in the The Fables of Æsop — Joseph Jacobs · Introduction Caxton's The Fables of Æsop — Joseph Jacobs — Vol. I., History lap of a slave. Æsop offered to unfold the mystery of the of the Æsopic Fable
omen and claimed publicly as his reward, his freedom from Dictionary of National Biography
Xanthus. The City Praetor then replied that if Xanthus Bewick's Select Fables, Newcastle Edition, 1784, Essay on refused to free Æsop he himself would proclaim him free.
Fable - Oliver Goldsmith
Then Æsop, addressing the people, said: “Ye citizens of Æsop's Fables — G. T. Townsend. Preface and Life
Samos! The eagle, you know, is the monarch of birds; Essay on Fable and Epigram - Lessing — A translation. Early and as the public ring was dropped into the lap of a slave, English Text Society
it seems to forbode that some of the adjacent kings will The life of Æsop is shadowed in mystery. The only attempt to overthrow your established laws, and entomb trustworthy notice of Æsop is a passage in “Herodotus." your liberty in slavery." And immediately Xanthus gave Speaking of one Rhodopis, he says: “She was a Thracian Æsop his freedom. by birth and was a slave of Iadmon a Samian. Æsop,
Soon afterwards the Samians were asked to pay tribute to the fable-writer (meaning story-teller) was one of her fellow- Croesus of Lydia. Croesus agreed to suspend the tribute slaves." That Æsop belonged to Iadmon is proved by if Æsop, their sage, would be sent instead. Æsop advised many facts, and among others by this: When the Delphians, against this, so the Samians agreed, sending ambassadors in obedience to the commands of the oracles, made proclama- instead, but Æsop accompanying them. Arriving at the tion that if anyone claimed compensation for the murder court of Croesus, Æsop gave himself up voluntarily and
won the favor of the King by proving by his eloquent or sacred “Birth-Stories of the Buddha,” giving the former speech how exalted a mind dwelt in his deformed body. adventures of Buddha in the guise of other animals
. Some Here he met Thales and reproved Solon for discourtesy to of these were folk-tales in India long before they were the King. Crosus offered to grant any demand of Æsop, adapted by Buddha in the fifth century B.C. Kasyapa whereupon he asked for reconciliation with the Samians, was the last of the twenty-seven Buddhas preceding which was granted.
Sakyamuni. Of him it is said, “The birthplace of the After this Æsop spent some time as a sage at the court Blessed One was called Benares, Brahmadatta the Brahmin of King Lycerus. On one occasion he was given permission was his father.” All the classical fables which are Jatakas to travel, and he set out for Delphos, where the temple of begin, “Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Apollo was. The Delphians paid little attention to his Benares." There probably existed a separate collection eloquence and Æsop reproached them. So fearing he of "Jatakas” by Kasyapa, as early as 400 B.C., before might speak publicly against them to other peoples, they Greek contact. They were carried over to Ceylon in determined to destroy him. They secreted a golden cup archaic Pali in complete form about 241 B.C. They were from the temple in his belongings, and then following him sculptured on the Stupa of Bharhut and other shrines. out of their city, found it in his baggage and accused him About 50 A.D. this Indian collection of Kasyapa reached of stealing it from the temple. Æsop understood their Alexandria, where they were translated under the title strategy and attempted to save his life by several noble "Libyan Fables," by "Kibises." They came to the western utterances of fable, but the Delphians persisted. Finally,
Finally, world in this way. A freedman of Annius Plocanus, sailing while Æsop bravely defended his life with the only means the Erythrean Sea, was caught by a monsoon, was carried at hand of one who is being wronged by his enemies, that out to Ceylon, taken captive, and learned the language. of hurling back at them his low estimate of them as the His accounts of Rome so impressed the King of Ceylon vilest and most worthless of men, they dragged him to that he decided to send an embassy to Rome, which he did, the edge, hurled him from the precipice, and to his un- a prince and three nobles, with the freedman. They fortunate death, 564 B.C. The Athenians erected a statue interviewed the Emperor Claudius, 54 A.D., and from one in his honor, by the sculptor Lysippus.
of them Pliny probably obtained his account of Ceylon; There were eight fables which were current in Greece and from one of them the "Fables of Kybises" were before the fall of Greek independence. The earliest beast procured. tales referred to in literature are: “The Nightingale” The eighty Indian fables in Æsop are from three Indian Hesiod; “The Fox and Ape" and "Eagle and Fox” — sources, and the dates vary from the fifth century B.C. to Archilochus; "The Piper Turned Fisherman” - Herodotus; 1000 A.D. “The Eagle Hoist with His Own Petard” – Æschylus; In India Buddha adopted the Jataka form of teaching a “Sheep and Dog" — Xenophon;"Horse, Hunter, and Stag” moral just as Christ used the parable. This Jataka form and "Fox, Hedgehog, and Dog-Ticks” – Aristotle; “The is the origin of the fable form. That the moral is not a Heron and Eel” – Simonides; "The Ass's Heart” – Solon; part of the fable is proved by the fact that so many morals “The Serpent and Eagle” — Stesichorus; “The Serpent miss the point of the fable. and Ass" — Ibycus; "The Fox and Hedgehog" — Ion; The Jataka form is shown in the following tale, "The Countryman and Snake” — Theognis; “The Trans- taken from "Indian Fairy Tales,''* by Joseph Jacobs, formed Weasel" - Strattis; "The Serpent and Crab” — this variant is the one which contains a plausible motive Alcæus; “The Dog and Shadow” — Democritus; “The and is likely the original: North Wind and Sun” - Sophocles; “The Hare and Hounds and the Two Crabs” – Aristophanes; "The Ass
The Ass in the Lion's Skin in Lion's Skin" — Plato; and a dozen from Plutarch and Lucian.
At the same time, when Brahma-datta was reigning in The question naturally arises, How early was Æsop's Benares, the future Buddha was born one of a peasant name connected with the Fables? Demetrius of Phaleron,
family; and when he grew up, he gained his living by tilling born 345 B.C., one of the leading Attic orators of his day,
the ground. was placed at the head of Athens, 317 B.C. Here he
At that time a hawker used to go from place to place, tyrannized for about ten years, when he was put out of
trafficking in goods carried by an ass. Now at each place office and fled to Alexandria, where he turned from action
he came to, when he took a pack down from the ass's back, to thought. For twenty years he produced book after he used to clothe him in a lion's skin, and turn him loose book, and formed the nucleus of the world-famous Alex
in the rice and barley fields. And when the watchmen in andria Library. He was a kind of Grecian Grimm. He
the fields saw the ass, they dared not go near him, taking
him for a lion. collected the sayings of "The Seven Wise Men of Greece" and “Greek Proverbs” from the people. He probably
So one day the hawker stopped in a village; and whilst collected, also from the people, “The Assemblies of Æsopian
he was getting his own breakfast cooked, he dressed the Fables," 300 B.C. This is the earliest collection of Greek
ass in a lion's skin, and turned him loose in a barley-field. Beast-Fables, about two hundred in number, and thus, The watchmen in the field dared not go up to him; but from the written manuscript, the name of Æsop was
going home, they published the news. Then all the connected with the Fables.
villagers came out with weapons in their hands; and Another interesting question concerning Æsop is, Where blowing chanks, and beating drums, they went near the
field and shouted. Terrified with the fear of death, the did the form used in the fable come from, and when was it first used? It has been proved that about eighty of
ass uttered a cry — the bray of an ass! (Story of the Past)
And when he knew him then to be an ass, the future "Æsop's Fables" originally came from India and the form of the fable is also traceable to India. There have been
Buddha pronounced the First Verse. (First gatha): four theories of the transmission of fables: (1) Due to a
This is not a lion's roaring, common Aryan heritage, Grimm; (2) Due to a common
Nor a tiger's, nor.a panther's; human tendency to take metaphor for reality, Max Muller;
Dressed in a lion's skin, (3) Due to borrowing from one another, Benfey; and
'Tis a wretched ass that roars! (4) Due to the identity of the human mind at similar states of culture, Tylor and Lang.
But when the villagers knew the creature to be an ass, The idea of the fable probably originated in India, where they beat him till his bones broke; and, carrying off the Buddha, the great ethical reformer, Sakamuni, used the
* Used by courtesy of G. P. Putnam's Sons, Publishers, New York beast tale for moral purposes. These were “The Jatakas, and London
lion's skin, went away. Then the hawker came; and “The Fox Fables” or “Mishle Shualim.” In America seeing the ass fallen in so bad a plight, pronounced the Dr. Jeremiah translated from the Arabic one hundred and Second Verse (Second gatha):
sixty-four fables, entitled “The Fox Book."
The fables became very popular in the Middle Ages.
Among the Normans was a famous tapestry at Bayeux
attributed to Matilda, Queen of William the Conqueror. But he brayed!
It contained a dozen Æsopic fables, among them "The And that moment he came to ruin.
Wolf and the Crane," "The Fox and the Crow, "The Eagle
and Tortoise," and "The Wolf and the Lamb." John of And even whilst he was yet speaking the ass died on Salisbury in the thirteenth century, bore from the Pope the spot!
the apologue of "The Belly and Members.” Richard
Caur de Lion, after retiring from captivity, 1194 A.D., In this tale, the Story of the Present might be the first rebuked the Barons for ingratitude with “The Man, paragraph, or it is omitted. The tale proper is The Story Serpent, and Lion,” who were all rescued from a pit by a of the Past, and the gathas are the two moral verses. peasant. The collections of examples for the use of
In the Middle Ages, in the ninth century, eighty fables the clergy in their sermons, were filled with fables. of Phædrus were turned into prose by Romulus at the Many fables are to be traced to the monks of the Middle schools of Charles the Great. Another prose collection Ages and the stories of their Gesta Romanorum. Chaucer was made by Ademar about 1030 A.D. But the home of gave
“The Fox and the Geese” in “Nonne Prestes Tale," the fable in the Middle Ages was England. Collections and Lydgate gave "The Churl and the Birds.” “Reynard of Babrius had gotten into many nations. One was the Fox," the mediæval beast-classic, permanently placed attributed to the Persian sage, Syntipas. This was trans- into literature a number of these fables current in the lated into Syriac and Arabic under the name Loquam. Middle Ages. A larger Arabic "Æsop" of one hundred and forty-four With the invention of printing about 1480, the European fables was printed in Paris, 1644. This larger Arabic "Æsop" was compiled by Heinrich Stainhowel, putting edition was brought to England after the Third Crusade together the “Romulus,” selections from “Avian," "Babof Richard I and translated into English by Alfred, an rius,” and a few from "Alfred's Æsop,” with a legendary Englishman, 1170 A.D. Alfred was assisted by a learned “Life of Æsop.” Stainhowel's was a German translation Jew, Berachyah, who made his own collection entitled to a Latin text. Jules Machault, a monk at Lyons, trans
lated it into French. In -1484, eight years before the dis- ."The Lion and the Mouse" – Indian. "Greek form got into Egyptian covery of America, using Machault's translation, William literature, 200 A.D. Little friends may prove great friends.
Gratitude and courage. Caxton, at "Westmynster in thabbey," printed the English
“The Frogs Desiring a King,” told by Æsop to the Athenians. Told Æsop.” Then followed editions in German, French, in "Reynard the Fox." Better no rule than cruel rule. Italian, Dutch, and Spanish, until to-day in the British “The Wolf and the Kid" – Phædrus: folk-tale remain. Cowardice. Museum there are five hundred numbers under the heading
Shows strong contrast and is very picturesque. The weak will
not fear the strong at a safe distance. “Æsop," one hundred and twenty English editions.
“The Fox and the Stork” – Phædrus and Plutarch. Might have been The fable was very popular during the Reformation. an after-dinner speech. Could be dramatized. Martin Luther translated twenty fables and Melancthon “The Jay and the Peacock" — Indian. Included by Thackeray in valued them next to the Scriptures. About 1546 a second
Prologue to “The Newcomes." Could be dramatized. Gave
expression, “Borrowed plumes.” Vanity. “Fine feathers do not edition of “Planudes" was published at Paris. In 1585
make fine birds." the first spelling reformer, W. Bullokar, used Æsop to “The Frog and the Ox” – Phædrus. Referred to by Thackeray; by show his more perfect way of orthography. In 1610 a Carlyle in “Miscellanies.” Same theme in Lewis Carroll's learned Swiss, Nevelet, published the best collection of “Melancholy Pig.” The wise know their own limitations.
"Androcles” – Phædrus. Quoted by Seneca; dropped out of Æsop; Æsop to date, and it is to this collection that its universal
included in Day's “Sandford and Merton”; probably Roman. popularity is due. It contained one hundred and thirty-six Gratitude. new fables from a manuscript in the Vatican. In 1709 a "The Hart and the Hunter" -- Indian – Phædrus. Charm of still
life and action. Wonderful word-picture. Latin edition was published by Nilant. In 1668 Lafontaine
"The Belly and the Members” — Bid pai, Mediæval Prose Æsop, published in French, six books of his fables, rendering the
Plutarch. Told by Agrippa to prevent Plebeians seceding from old fables into easy verse.
Patricians, in early Rome. Referred to in the Bible and ShakeAt the close of the seventeenth century, the popularity speare. Co-operation.
“The Fox and the Grapes" - Phædrus and Babrius. Gave the ex. of “Æsop's Fables” was increased by the critical researches
pression, "Sour grapes.” It is easy to despise what you cannot of Dr. Richard Bentley. The principal critics of Æsop
get. have been, Benfey and Fausböll on "Oriental Sources, "The Fox and the Lion” — Indian and Mediæval Prose Æsop. Quoted Crusius on “Babrius,” Oesterley and Hervieux on “Phæ- by Plato and Horace. We fear that which we have not faced. drus," Mall on “Marie de France," and Lessing on the
Child might write what the Fox said to himself.
"The Fox and the Cat" — Marie de France and Grimm. Practical "Fable.”
wisdom. Of the important English editions following Caxton, “The Shepherd's Boy–Babrius. Included in "Mayor's Spelling Book." one by Sir Roger L'Estrange, 1694, added new fables, Appears in literature in varied forms. Popular expression, “To numbering five hundred, and new applications. One
cry 'Wolf.'” A liar will not be believed when in dire necessity
he speaks the truth, hundred and eighty-eight of its fables passed by way of
“The Tortoise and the Birds" — Babrius. Picturesque. Never trust Germany into Russia and there gave rise to the School of
an enemy. In the Bidpai spoken by the Linnet to illustrate a Krilof. Krilof, the Russian fable-maker, born 1768, refusal to heed good counsel. wandered among the common people along the Volga and
“The Ass in the Lion's Skin" — Jataka. Referred to be Socrates;
also by Thackeray. The voice indicates the true character. then returned to the village belfry, where he would write
“The Two Fellows and the Bear” — Avian. General wisdom. Never fables. He became the friend of the Prince, lived in his
trust a friend who deserts you at a pinch; sincerity is the test of home and taught his children. After his death the children friendship. Children could invent a similar tale. of Russia contributed to erect a monument to him in the
"The Fishes and the Little Fish,” same theme as "A bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush.” Hold fast what thou hast. Child could summer garden of Moscow.
write a story about a present-day merchant, using this fable. A study of the fable in the schools should include those
The Crow and the Pitcher" — Indian. Necessity is the mother of which have the most direct universal appeal, those which invention. Kiplingin "Just So Stories," in "How the Whale Got show the large, broadening, simpler emotions of life, His Throat," the "Man of infinite resource and sagacity.” Per
Child could originate a fable to express the same truth. especially ennobling ones or those which teach nobility.
“The Laborer and the Nightingale'' - Oriental. Source of Lydgate's Fables which present the complex feelings, are not so easy to “The Churl and the Bird.” Never believe a captive's promise. follow, are not so well suited to the study of the child. Keep what you have. Sorrow not over what is lost forever. Love, fear, courage, hope, faith, kindness, and gratitude
“The Fox and the Mosquitoes”. Only fable to be traced to Æsop
himself. Told by Aristotle, used by Roman Emperors and illustrate the simpler virtues, A study of the fable should
Plutarch. include also those fables most frequently referred to and those which show the cleverest insight into life.
In considering the possible reaction of the child to the point of view is self-interest, good conduct is the conduct that pays.
study of the fable, the fable, like the fairy tale, is material
from which may be expected a return similar to that disThe following analysis may be helpful with suggestion:
cussed in the author's 'A Study of Fairy Tales," pp. 119“The Cock and the Pearl” – Phædrus; quoted by Bacon and
154. Reaction may take any one of four large forms: Stevenson. A jewel is worthless to one who cannot use it. Wis
conversation, inquiry, construction, or artistic expression, dom of the Cock.
in painting, drawing, music, or drama. The form of re“The Wolf and the Lamb" — Indian; quoted in Shakespeare, “Henry action in harmony with the fable and the original occasion
IV., Act I, Scene 8. Any excuse will serve a tyrant. Plea of of its being told, is to imagine a situation which might call the innocent, defence of the innocent, and conquest of tyrant forth the fable, so that the motive which prompted the through overthrow of justice.
fable-speaking is made plain. In the realization of the “The Dog and His Shadow” — Indian; changed by Marie de France. Same as
fable the child should see the fable objectively. First, “King Lion and Sly Jackals of old Deccan Days.” Have a care lest you lose the real thing of value by grasping at the just what is it that Æsop wanted to say and had to say? shadow.
What did he choose to do with it? What beasts did he “The Lion's Share" — Indian. Same theme in “Brother Wolf Falls choose? What was their character? In the oral re
a Victim,” in “Nights with Uncle Remus." You may share the telling of the fable, to get the oral expression, we must labors of the great but you will not share the spoil. Greed and
remember that entering into the motive gives action, injustice. Gave the popular expression, “The lion's share.” “The Wolf and the Crane" — Indian. One of the “Fables of Ky
entering into the thought gives form, entering into the bises.” Appeared in the Bayeaux Tapestry. Gave Greek Ex- feeling gives color to the voice, and entering into the pression, “Out of the Wolf's mouth.” Gratitude and greed do images gives reality. However, the oral expression must not go together.
be expected after the fable has been studied in literature. “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse" – Phædrus and Horace And as literature the child must realize the fable, according Satires. Better poor fare in peace than rich fare in fear.
to the same general standards which have been applied “The Fox and the Crow” — Indian and Phædrus. Used in the Bayeau Tapestry. Never trust a flatterer. Delightfully written in verse
to the fairy tales in "A Study of Fairy Tales," he must hy Bernard Barton.
realize the fable as emotion, as imagination, as truth, and