Fables Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Valerie Keenan

Valerie has taught elementary school and has her master's degree in education.

Discover the meaning of words like fable and moral. Read about some notable fables and a man named Aesop who was most famous for telling these short stories.

Lessons Learned

Have you ever been caught in a lie only to regret it immediately? Perhaps you've hurt a sibling or said something mean to a friend and felt sorry right away. Chances are, those actions came with consequences, regardless of your regret. You may have been grounded, had privileges taken away, or even lost a friend. In turn, you learned a valuable life lesson from the whole experience.

Fables also teach lessons. A fable is a story that usually uses animals to teach a valuable life lesson, or moral. This story is typically short and states its moral at the very end. Some of the most popular fables were told by a man known as Aesop who was born a slave in Greece thousands of years ago. The Tortoise and the Hare, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, and The Ant and the Grasshopper are just a few of Aesop's notable fables.

Aesop's Famous Fables

The Tortoise and the Hare tells of a boastful hare who believes he is faster than any other animal in the forest and cannot be beat. A tortoise, tired of the bragging, decides to race the hare. Although the tortoise is much slower than the hare, he is determined and does not stop until he crosses the finish line. The hare, so sure of himself, stops for a nap and is beat! The moral of this fable: Slow and steady wins the race.

The determined tortoise passes up the boastful hare.
Tortoise and Hare

In The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, we see two mice who live completely opposite lifestyles. The town mouse is poor but comfortable, and the rich city mouse looks down on the meager ways of the town mouse. However, when the town mouse visits the city, she realizes that the city mouse lives in constant fear of cats and dogs who could eat them up! The town mouse runs back to her home where she is safe and content. The moral of this fable: Poverty and security are better than riches in the midst of fear and uncertainty.

The town mouse looks down on the country mouse.
Town Mouse and Country Mouse

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