Presentation on theme: "Little is known about Aesop. He seems to have lived and died in Greece some five hundred years before the birth of Christ. Aesop’s fables always use animals."— Presentation transcript:
Little is known about Aesop. He seems to have lived and died in Greece some five hundred years before the birth of Christ. Aesop’s fables always use animals to tell their stories. Sometimes the fables also have human characters.
Whether the characters in a fable are animals or humans, they have a weakness or a temptation that gets them into trouble. Reading about their troubles, we gain wisdom and insight into human nature. Here are two of Aesop’s fables. What morals are they trying to teach us?
The Fox and the Grapes One hot dry summer’s day, a fox was passing through a large orchard, lined with vines loaded with ripe, juicy grapes. As the fox passed under one of the vines, he spied a beautiful bunch of purple grapes hanging from it. The fox was very thirsty, and he thought how good a few sweet grapes would taste just then.
Although the grapes were out of the fox’s reach, he was determined to get those grapes one way or another. The fox walked a little way from the vine. He turned toward the vine and ran as fast as he could until he was almost directly under the grapes; then he leaped into the air—just missing the bunch. The fox landed with a loud crash.
He got up and tried to run and jump for the grapes again—and again—and again—each time with no success. The juicy fruit hung safely out of his reach. Finally, the fox had to give it up, and as he walked away with his nose in the air, he was heard to say, “You are too sour. I wouldn’t eat you even if you fell right into my mouth. Who cares for sour grapes?”
The Frog and the Ox One day two little frogs were jumping and playing by the edge of a pond. In the meadow nearby a herd of cattle were feeding, and by and by a big young ox came down to the pond to drink. His great foot landed right on one of the frogs and crushed the life out of him.
The other one hopped away in fright. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Mother, a beast—such a terrible beast—has killed my brother! He had a foot as large as twenty frogs put together, and he put it on the top of his head.”
“A beast with a foot as big as twenty frogs put together!” exclaimed the mother. “Such an animal cannot be allowed to come into our meadow. I’ll go and fight him!” “Oh, Mother!” cried the little frog, “you cannot fight him! He is much too big!”
“Rubbish!” said the mother. “No matter how big he is, I can make myself bigger!” With that she set to work to blow herself up with air. She swallowed mouthful after mouthful until she was twice her natural size. Then, holding her breath carefully, she asked, “Was that beast as big as I?”
“Oh, Mother,” cried the little frog fearfully, “he was ever so much bigger—nearly as big as a mountain. And please stop blowing yourself up with air or you will certainly burst!” But she shut her eyes and swallowed more and more air, while the little frog looked on in fear. At last, she did burst.
“Foolish creature!” said a very old frog, shaking his head. “Of what use was it to blow herself up in that way? Even if she had made herself as big as her enemy, she would only have had air inside, after all. And, as it was, she did not manage to do anything but burst!”