Aesop's Fables

The origin of the finger-wag, the tut, self-satisfied shake of the head and other methods of chastisement parents use to depress their kids.

Looking studly...

Just The Facts

  1. The writer of a series of heavy-handed morality stories.
  2. Every one of the stories features personified animals.
  3. Every one of these animals either does something unbelieveably retarded or behaves unforgivably smug

Aesop

First off, Aesop was a dude who was either mythical, or just a lonely Greek man who made stories that made people feel guilty, but didn't change their attitude.

Aesop was famous for writing fables and stories that taught a moral at the end like "The person who tries to win the oil-drinking competition will regret it later on" or "One too many tacos will result in serious diarrhea".

Some of his most famous tales include the following:

The Tortoise and The Hare

The Story:

This story is about a Hare who constantly teases a tortoise for his inability to move quickly. They challenge each other to a race in which the Hare constantly gloats about how fast he is. As the race begins, the Tortoise goes at a slow pace, but never stops. The Hare believes that he can rest for a while and still win the race, so he stops by a tree to take a nap.

Tree, you and me. Right now.

While the Hare is fast asleep, the Tortoise continues to steadily walk towards the finish line.

Just as the Hare wakes up from his dream of going into politics, he sees the Tortoise crossing the finish line.

The Moral:

"Slow and steady wins the race"

What the moral really should be:

"Never, ever piss off a tortoise...and don't take naps during a race."

The Boy who Cried "Wolf"

The Story:

The story involves a young shepherd boy who is bored to death and decides to have a little fun. He calls out "Wolf" and the townspeople come immediately to rescue the boy from the wolf.

4.25.09 (20/365) - my guy by Hot Lava.

This had better be freakin' important!

The townspeople are angered to find out that they have been tricked, and they leave. The boy has a good laugh about it, but after they leave a real wolf appears, and begins to eat his sheep. The boy, who really needs help now, calls out for help again, but to no avail as the townspeople think that he is doing it again.

Well, this sucks.

No one helps the boy, and the wolf ends up eating him. Poor kid.

The Moral:

"Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. The liar will lie once, twice, and then perish when he tells the truth."

What the moral really should be:

"Never lie...unless you have to."

The Ant and the Grasshopper

This story is about a care-free Grasshopper who spends the Spring, Summer, and Fall dancing and singing, and idling away. Meanwhile, the ant and his colony are busy working and storing food for the winter. The Grasshopper tells the ant to live a little, but the ant warns the grasshopper of what will happen if he doesn't work.

The Grasshopper doesn't give a crap and continues on.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be on my way to Disneyland"

When the winter comes, the Grasshopper regrets his decision and begs the ants for some food. The ants refuse to give any to him, and the Grasshopper ends up dying of starvation.

The Moral:

"Prepare for want before it comes"

What the moral really should be:

"Make sure that you have good friends who will be willing to give you their food"

The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs

The Story:

File:The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs - Project Gutenberg etext 19994.jpg

A man and his wife are rich people. Why? It's because they have a goose. But how does a goose make you wealthy? They have a special goose, one that lays golden eggs on a daily basis.

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I bet it could give out food, if it really tried.

Every day, the man sells the golden egg for a fortune. This part of the story reveals Aesop's love for economic matters.

Well, one day the fool decides that he's sick of waiting for a new egg every day, and wants them all at once. He devises a plan to cut the goose's behind open and sell all the eggs at once.

He does that, but does not succeed with his plan. Instead, he finds one egg, and a dead bird. He regrets his decision, as he does not even have his bird to lay eggs every day. Whoops.

The Moral:

"Greed destroys the source of good."

What the Moral really should be:

"Don't cut open a bird. No matter what."

The Milkmaid and her Pail

The Story:

The story starts out with a girl carrying a pot of milk. Boring, right?

Well, the girl begins to dream. She thinks that the pot of milk she's carrying is going to make her rich.

Yup. Not even kidding. She thinks that the milk will be churned into butter, be sold at the market, she can buy eggs that hatch into chickens, sell them to buy beautiful clothes, and get on the list of Time's 100 most influential people.

Move over Hillary, and make way for the milkmaid!

She has this weird vision of tossing her head at a dance, and does so in real life. As she does this, the pail of milk spills everywhere.

The Moral:

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch"

What the Moral really should be:

"Don't count on it."

The Fox and the Crow

The Story:

The story starts out with a crow who has stolen a piece of cheese from a fat guy's yard. He wants to eat the cheese, when suddenly a fox out of nowhere sees the cheese, and wants it for himself.

The fox knows that he can't just demand the cheese from the crow, because the crow will most likely refuse.

So he has a clever plan...He goes up to the crow and tells her, "You have the most lovely and tolerable voice in the whole forest, or wherever we live! Can you please sing a showtune for me?"

The Crow is delighted to hear this remark of praise, and she opens up her mouth to sing. Obviously, the crow does not think of the repercussions that occur when your mouth is full of food and you open your mouth.

So, the piece of cheese falls down, and the fox snatches it and runs away. Good job Crow, good thinking.

The Moral:

"Flatterers thrive on fools' credulity"

What the Moral really should be:

"If someone tells you that you sing amazingly, make sure you really can; Otherwise they're lying"

The Dog And The Bone

The Story:

A dog holding a large bone looks at his reflection in a lake. He believes that his reflection is another dog holding a bone. He wants the other bone as well, and tries to bark at the "other dog". In the process, he drops his bone, which falls into the lake, and is left with the total of zero bones.

File:Wenceslas Hollar - The dog and his reflection.jpg

Maybe next time, I'll put the bone down, first.

The Moral:

"Be happy with what you have"

What the Moral really should be:

"Make sure that what you're looking at is actually your reflection."