Handed down from generation to generation animal stories never go out of style.
What I love about Fairy Tales and Fables is they really are for all ages to enjoy and also can connect us with different cultures. Now add in an animal that has human characteristics and what’s not to love?
I am often asked what the difference is between a fable and a fairy tale, so I’ll tell you what I have learned over the years:
Fables illustrate a particular moral and teach us a lesson. The characters are usually animals who talk and act like people while they retain their animal traits. By retaining the traits we associate with certain animals, for example that tortoise’s are slow, hare’s are quick, foxes are sly, it makes these stories especially entertaining and they are ofter quite humorous. The animals point out some aspect of human behavior that has a moral attached to it. I have a particular fondness to many of Aesop’s fables. He was a Greek story teller, and from what I can tell, a very keen observer of both animal and human behavior. Androcles and the Lion and The City Mouse and the Country Mouse are two of my favorites.
Fairy Tales usually have a once upon a time that starts the story and are often set in a castle, a forest, or a town. These tales are about ordinary people, from boys and girls to women and men, that find themselves caught up in a magical event. Often there is a strong difference between the good and evil characters. And we know it wouldn’t be a fairy tale unless good triumphs over evil and the problem in the story is solved. Puss-in-Boots is a great example of a fairy tale that uses an animal in the same manner as a fable.
One thing that all of these stories have in common is that they touch our hearts and souls.
Questions to accompany my new playlist of Animal Tales:
- What is your favorite fable or fairy tale with animals and why?
- Which one teaches us a lesson - a fable or a fairy tale?
- What is the moral of Androcles and the Lion?