Aesop was a writer and storyteller from Asia Minor who lived between the 7th or 6th centuries BC. C. He was enslaved and taken to Greece where he worked for Xanto, although little is known about this famous and ancient fabulist. His works are characterized by having a simple style, with characters personified in animals that seek to convey a moral teaching or warn about human weaknesses. His works in Latin and Greek were translated into various languages around the world and continue to be read everywhere.
The best known Aesop fables
The Ant and the Grasshopper
- Summary: During the summer, the ant saw an opportunity to prowl the fields and fill its food pantry. The cicada, resting from the fatigue of the sun, made fun of the ant’s work for not taking advantage of the good weather. When winter came, the ant had enough food to satisfy itself, while the cicada, which barely had to eat, had to ask the ant. She replied that if she had not been so lazy and presumptuous she would not need food.
- Moral: all work pays off over time. Not everything is about fun if you want to seek comfort, much less make fun of those who make an effort.
The lying pastor
- Summary: A shepherd in a small town got bored while keeping an eye on his sheep, so he came up with an idea that he found amusing. He ran into town, shouting that the wolf was coming to eat the sheep. At first, the people believed him and went out to defend the ball, until they realized the deception. He continued with the lie for a couple of times, until one day the wolf approached and although the shepherd cried out for help and assured that what he said was true, no one believed him anymore.
- Moral: a reputation for being a liar has only bad consequences. Lying can cause many problems and with time every lie is discovered, it is also very difficult for a liar to regain lost trust.
The wolf and the lamb
- Summary: one day a lamb and a wolf met. The wolf was trying to explain to the lamb that it was better for him to come down from the rocky area he was in because it was a cliff and, furthermore, that on his side there were delicious pastures for him to eat. The lamb, knowing the wolf, knew immediately that it was a trick for the wolf himself to eat it.
- Moral: be careful with the deceptions of those who try to use you for their benefit, it is something very prudent that should be put into practice.
The tortoise and the hare
- Summary: the tortoise decided to challenge the hare to a race, tired of the teasing it made him for considering it slow to walk. On the day of the competition they left the starting line at the same time. The hare was going very fast, but the tortoise was slow and steady. The hare, confident of her advantage, lay down to sleep, sure that she would win the race, but when she got up, no matter how hard she hurried, the tortoise had already won the victory.
- Moral: to get good results you need perseverance and patience. You don’t go far by going too fast.
The miller, his son and the donkey
- Summary: a miller decided to go to town with his son and took the donkey. For every place they passed, people made comments about travelers. First they made fun of them because they had a donkey, but none of them rode it when they could. Everywhere they passed they received comments so the miller and his son, trying to please everyone, ended up not pleasing anyone and being a spectacle for others.
- Moral: you will always find ridicule, so it is better to make decisions by your own opinion without taking into account those other people’s words that only try to criticize your work.
The dog and the meat
- Summary: a dog was walking at ease with a piece of meat that he had received from the village butcher and did not want to share it with anyone, so he went as far as possible to enjoy his feast alone. On the way, he looked out over a lake and saw a dog with a piece of meat just like him, only the other people’s meat looked bigger. The dog, envious, tried with a claw to snatch the meat, opening his mouth and releasing the piece that the butcher had given him. What he had seen in the lake was his reflection so that when he opened his mouth, the meat fell into the water and the dog lost its food.
- Moral: envy and greed are evils that eventually lead to failure. Always rejoice in your own achievements, without envying others.
The fox and the grapes
- Summary: A fox who lived in the forest was very hungry and after hanging around for a while she finally found some delicious bunches of grapes. He wanted to catch them with his snout, but they were high and after a couple of tries he couldn’t reach them. He walked away proudly exclaiming that those grapes were green and that they were not to his liking.
- Moral: the value of things should not be despised simply because we are not capable of having them.