Reading Aesop’s Fables

I recently bought Aesop’s fables to read to my son, not knowing what a fraught decision that was. We all know some of Aesop’s fables even if we don’t realise it – many of their key lessons and phrases are embedded in our language and popular consciousness. Until I read them, I didn’t understand that this is where phrases like “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, “don’t count your chickens”, “dog in a manger”, or “one swallow does not a summer make” came from. On reading the whole set of fables, I discovered that there were many that I didn’t like, and wouldn’t read to children. Many of the fables would now be regarded by many of us as abhorrent or out of date. We shouldn’t be surprised, however, that many are no longer relevant, instead we should be surprised that after over 2500 years some are still relevant today. I found that reading the fables was an eye-opener in terms of seeing that so many concerns (if not the lessons that we draw) have remained constant through human history. If I was really interested in the wisdom of the ancient world though, I would rather look to figures such as Plato, Aristotle and Seneca than Aesop, but four year olds might disagree.

Click here to buy Aesop’s Fables from

~ by Doug Newdick on June 3, 2013.

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