Very little is known about the history of this renowned fabulist. He created five books of fables in verse that triumphed throughout the ages. Many of his works were inspired by Aesop. Gaius Julius Phaedrus was born in Macedonia in approximately 20 BC, he was enslaved and taken to Rome when he was very young, later he attended the royal house of Augustus, who years later granted him freedom. There he received education and learned Latin, the language in which he wrote his fables. His narrative works are characterized by being simple and clear, with the intention of moralizing the customs of the time.
The Fables of Phaedrus
The Fox and the Raven
- Summary: A crow was perched on top of a tree, enjoying a delicious cheese that it had found and which it was holding in its beak. A fox, who was also hungry, began to speak to the crow, flattering him with the best words she could find, until she managed to get the crow to speak. At that moment, in which the crow opened its mouth to respond, the cheese fell directly into the mouth of the fox that swallowed it.
- Moral: you have to be careful of those who exalt with excessive words just to make you believe things that are not and take advantage of the misfortunes that they can cause if these words are taken seriously.
The two bitches
- Summary: a female dog that had just had some offspring and asked another female friend for a lodging, who agreed to let them stay at her home. But after time, the dog refused to go out and continued in the borrowed house because she said that her puppies were still very young. And so, as much as the friend said to her in good terms, she refused and took advantage of the situation, taking over the house completely.
- Moral: be careful who you help because sometimes they can be taken advantage of and arrogantly demand that you do them a favor.
Of a sick kite
- Summary: it was a kite that had fallen very ill and was prostrating itself on a bed. After that illness, he asked his mother to intercede for him before the divinities and pray for the recovery of his health. To which his mother calmly replied, not to ask her to pray when he himself discredited the faith and never reciprocated with due devotion.
- Moral: you have to be more coherent and grateful instead of pretending that at the last minute, in the face of some problem or delicate situation, help arrives simply asking for favors.
The wolf and the crane
- Summary: A wolf, while being satiated from a great feast, was choked and ended up with a bone stuck in his throat. He asked for help so that an animal would help him, since he alone could not and that with a prize he would reward his savior. The crane, after much pleading, agreed to help him and pulled out the bone. When he asked for his well-deserved prize for the act, the wolf reluctantly told him that it was enough not to have eaten it.
- Moral: you have to think carefully about who you help, bad people do not usually appreciate the help they receive.
The broken frog and the ox
- Summary: A frog was impressed with the size and bearing upon seeing the ox. Then he wanted to imitate his greatness and began to fill himself with air. It inflated and inflated to match the size. Every time he asked who was bigger, the answer he got was that he was still the ox. She continued with her feat until her body swelled so much that she couldn’t take it anymore and exploded.
- Moral: many times you can hurt yourself trying to imitate other people or try to be what you are not. It is better if you value your qualities and reinforce them, because after all a size is not synonymous with greatness.
The hungry dogs
- Summary: two dogs found some skins deep in a stream which they wanted to eat because they were very hungry, but since they were well at the bottom, they thought it best to drink the water first to access them. They drank and drank and did not reach the skins.
- Moral: you can always find another way of doing things. The path that seems simpler or faster is not always the right one to achieve a goal, sometimes it can even frustrate it.
The wolf and the lamb
- Summary: a wolf and a lamb met by chance in the same river to drink water. A man who passed by wanted to create a fight to be benefited and even though the lamb, with the truth, indicated to the wolf that it was not true of what was insulting him, he did not listen to him and ended up killing him.
- Moral: refusing to listen, believing that everything is known can cause harm to innocents and there are those who are waiting to take advantage of these situations.