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Aesop: Stories of a Slave

Pictorial representation of the Fable of the Fox and the Stork

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'!

    01:26

    The classic tale of playing one trick too many.

  • Catwoman

    01:14

    A cat turned woman doesn’t completely lose her feline ways.

  • The Divided Body

    01:11

    What happens when arms and legs go on strike?

  • The Donkey and the Wolf

    01:23

    A pre-emptive strike leaves a wolf a little the worse for wear.

  • The Farmer's Daughter

    01:14

    The dangers of ‘taking your eye off the ball’.

  • Fields of Gold

    01:23

    A father knows how to motivate his sons.

  • Friends

    01:23

    A bear can see the true nature of this friendship.

  • The Gnat

    01:05

    What happens when a gnat challenges a lion to a fight.

  • Hot and Cold Air

    02:15

    A friendship fails to blossom.

  • The Lion's Share

    01:07

    An unfair lesson learned the hard way.

  • Mother Monkey

    01:09

    Whose baby is the most beautiful?

  • Of Mice and Cats

    01:36

    A possible solution to the problem of cats chasing mice.

  • The Old Man, Boy and Donkey

    01:29

    Everyone has something to say about how an old man and boy lead their donkey to market.

  • The Slave and the Lion

    03:18

    A slave and a lion don’t forget their friendship.

  • The Sun and the North Wind

    02:01

    A competition between sun and wind – who will win?

  • Table Manners

    01:24

    How not to be a good host.

  • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

    02:32

    The merits of simplicity.

  • Unity

    01:17

    A farmer shows his sons there is strength in numbers.

  • The Vain Crow

    01:43

    Trickery and thievery go hand in hand.

  • Winter is Coming

    01:39

    Forethought or living in the moment?