Aesop's Fables

I listened to an audio version of, I think, ALL of Aesop's Fables. Most probably you are familiar with the format - they are very short anecdotes which convey a moral of some kind, either explicit or implicit. These are cultural staples, and the tropes of Aesop's Fables has entered the language: 'sour grapes', 'pride goes before a fall', etc. Although I had encountered individual fables before in other formats, most of these were unfamiliar to me. Some were baffling - I just couldn't figure out what was meant. The context that made them meaningful must have faded away (who knew lions were supposed to be afraid of roosters?).

I liked that this was unabridged, and I enjoyed hearing the original source of these familiar sayings. I've heard the phrase 'a dog in the manger' used to describe unreasonable jealousy before, but I didn't know what it really meant. (The dog in the manger growled at the cows and kept them from their food, even though he couldn't eat it himself). Whose pride went before a fall? A rooster.

Aesop's Fables are often used as a basis for children's stories, but I would hesitate to listen to this one in the car with kids. Sure, it's full of talking animals, but they're always trying to kill each other.

1 comment:

Eric said...

My Aesop's Fables book was my favorite book when I was about 5 or so. Sure there was lots of dying and animals attacking one another but there were lessons to be learned. To this day I'm still on the lookout for a lion with a thorn in his paw.