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Aesop's Fables: Stories of a Slave 

Man and boy on donkey

Aesop was a slave in ancient Greece who earned his freedom by telling fables. In the education of ancient Greeks and Romans, fables were known as 'progymnasmata' - exercises that trained students in writing and public speaking. They learnt the fables, expanded on them and invented their own to use in speeches as persuasive examples.  

The fables

The fables are listed below in alphabetical order. You can choose to teach them in any order you like as the characters are not inter-related.

Each fable includes a transcript and set of useful weblinks relating to it. See also our general Aesop's fables useful weblinks for further useful background information.

The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf!’ (1 min 26 sec): The classic tale of playing one trick too many.
Catwoman (1 min 14 sec): A cat turned woman doesn’t completely lose her feline ways.
The Divided Body (1 min 11 sec): What happens when arms and legs go on strike?
The Donkey and the Wolf (1 min 23 sec): A pre-emptive strike leaves a wolf a little the worse for wear.
The Farmer’s Daughter (1 min 14 sec): The dangers of ‘taking your eye off the ball’.
Fields of Gold (1 min 11 sec): A father knows how to motivate his sons.
Friends (1 min 23 sec): A bear can see the true nature of this friendship.
The Gnat (1 min 5 sec): What happens when a gnat challenges a lion to a fight.
Hot and Cold Air (2 min 15 sec): A friendship fails to blossom.
The Lion’s Share (1 min 7 sec): An unfair lesson learned the hard way.
Mother Monkey (1 min 9 sec): Whose baby is the most beautiful?
Of Mice and Cats  (1 min 36 sec): A possible solution to the problem of cats chasing mice.
The Old Man, Boy and Donkey (1 min 29 sec): Everyone has something to say about how an old man and boy lead their donkey to market.
The Slave and the Lion (3 min 18 sec): A slave and a lion don’t forget their friendship.
The Sun and the North Wind (2 min 1 sec): A competition between sun and wind – who will win?
Table Manners (1 min 24 sec): How not to be a good host.
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (2 min 32 sec): The merits of simplicity.
Unity (1 min 17 sec): A farmer shows his sons there is strength in numbers.
The Vain Crow (1 min 43 sec): Trickery and thievery go hand in hand.
Winter is Coming (1 min 39 sec): Forethought or living in the moment?