Aesop's Fables are attributed (by legend) to a Greek slave who lived 2500 years ago, and was known for his witty, sharp, lesson-filled stories. People enjoyed the stories so much, that Aesop was eventually granted his freedom.
A lion observed a woman from a distance, and became enamored with her. Upon discovering her father was a local woodcutter, the lion told the man he wanted to marry his daughter. The father was afraid to reject the lion--so he said to him, "I would be happy to have you as a son-in-law. But the thing is, my daughter is extremely fearful of sharp objects. If you want to be her husband, you have to let me remove your teeth and claws." The lion, being smitten with the woman, eagerly agreed to the woodcutter's proposal. However, as soon as the lion's claws and teeth were removed, the woodcutter was no longer afraid of him. He grabbed a bat, and drove the lion away into the forest.
A graying, 40 year old man was courting two women: one was 25, and the other was 55. The older woman did not like the idea of being seen with a younger guy; so whenever she was with him, she would pull out some of his black hairs. The younger woman didn't like being seen with an older man; so she got in the habit of pulling out his grey hairs. And of course, within several months, the two women had managed to remove every hair from his head.
A young goat, standing on the roof of a house, saw a wolf passing by and immediately began to taunt him. The wolf looked up and remarked, "I hear your voice, goat. But the courage behind that voice doesn't come from you. The courage belongs to the roof on which you're standing."
Two men were walking on a path. One of them saw an ax lying on the ground. He picked it up and said, "I have found an ax."
"Bro," said the other. "Slow your roll. Don't say 'I.' Say 'we.' You didn't find an ax. We found an ax."
Later, they saw the ax owner pursuing them. The first man said, "We are undone."
"No," replied the second man. "Stick to what you said earlier. Don't say 'we.' Say 'I.'"
A rich man told the pubic, "Everyone come to my theater for a talent contest. The winner will get $20,000."
The contest attracted large audiences and numerous performers contending for the prize. A few days into the contest, a local comedian promised that he would deliver a new and unparalleled type of entertainment. People spread the word about this, and a large crowd assembled to see what he would do.
The comedian got on stage, accompanied by no person or object. The audience eagerly anticipated what he would do. The very sense of expectation caused an intense silence. The man then suddenly bent his head towards his chest and imitated the sound of a pig with such gusto and skill, that several audience members said, "This guy must have a pig hidden under his coat! Someone check to see if there is one!" When that was done and nothing was found, the audience gave the comedian a standing ovation.
A countryman in the crowd, observing all of this, said, "I must defeat this performer, with a performance of my own!" He made his intentions known to the city, and claimed that he would do a pig impersonation of his own, only it would be even more on point than the comedian's. "No way, replied, the others. "We shall see about that.
The following day, another large crowd showed up to see this new contender take on the comedian. Almost everyone was eager to ridicule the countryman and let it be known that they preferred the comedian.
Both of the performers appeared on the stage. The comedian went first, he did his impersonation, and once again he got a standing ovation from the audience. Then it was the countryman's turn. After hearing his performance, the crowd unanimously stated that the comedian's impersonation was better, and they demanded that the countryman be kicked out of the theater.
Upon hearing this, the man took off his coat and showed that he had an actual pig under there. "Look here," he said, "this shows what sort of judges you are."
A wise man, observing all that happened, remarked, "People often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing."
A man who was about to go traveling saw his dog standing near the door yawning. The man complained to the dog, "Why are you just standing there like that yawning, when we are running late for our trip! Stop messing around, and come here this instant so we can leave."
The dog replied, "Actually, I was just standing here waiting for you!"
One day, a boy swimming in a river got caught in a current and was in danger. He spotted a man nearby and shouted out for help.
The man said, "You should have never gone in that water, and this is not the proper behavior for children, and just wait till I tell your parents, and..."
The boy interrupted him and said, "Sir, please help me now, and you can scold me afterwards for as long as you want!"
A mother crab told her son, "Just look at how you walk that way, crooked and one sided. You should walk straight and forward."
The son replied, "OK—show me how and I will do it."
So the mother began trying to do it, but soon discovered that her walking was as crooked as the son's due to the structure of a crab's body.
A boy put his hand into a container of almonds. He grabbed as many almonds as he could hold, but when he tried to pull his hand out, it did not fit out of the container's neck. The boy was unwilling to let any of the almonds go, and soon began crying at his dilemma. Finally, he let half of them go, and he was able to get his hand out.
A donkey noticed a wolf was about to pounce on him. The donkey began limping, and calmly announced, "Wolf, I wouldn't do that if I were you. I have just stepped on a sharp thorn, and if you eat me, the thorn will cut up your throat. Let me lift up my hoof first, and then you can pull out the thorn before you eat me."
The wolf was very surprised at the donkey's behavior. He thought, "This donkey is really stupid. He should be running for his life right now, but instead, he's letting me eat him. And he is even making sure that I don't get cut by the thorn in his foot. What an idiot!"
The donkey lifted his hoof in the air, and the wolf stood behind him and searched for the thorn. Then all of a sudden, the donkey gave a powerful kick to the wolf's head, sending him sprawling several feet in the air and falling on his back.
As the donkey ran away, the hurt wolf thought to himself, "That donkey is definitely not as stupid as I thought!"
After catching a rooster, a hungry cat began thinking of a morally justifiable excuse to kill and eat him. After a few seconds, he remarked, "Your crows annoy people and keep them awake at night—and that is why you deserve to be eaten."
"Actually," the rooster replied, "my noises help people get up in time so they won't be late for their duties."
To which the other replied, "Fine—but I am hungry, so I am going to eat you anyway!"
A merchant tied some baskets full of salt to his donkey and head for the bazaar. There was lots of salt, and the donkey struggled to carry the heavy load. As they crossed a shallow river, the donkey accidentally slipped and fell, and about half of the salt was washed away in the water.
The merchant was upset over the loss, but the donkey was glad that the heavy load had been lightened. When they reached the bazaar, the merchant traded his salt for cloth, and loaded it in baskets and tied it to the donkey.
As they headed home and reached the same river, the donkey remembered what happened with the salt. He pretended to slip and fall into the water so that his load could once again be lightened. But the donkey's plan backfired—the cloth did not wash away. Instead, the bags of cloth soaked up water and became twice as heavy, and the donkey had to carry the heavier load the rest of the way home.
A community of mice in one home had a meeting to discuss how to deal with their chief villain, a cat who lurked about and presented them with great danger. Mouse upon mouse presented a plan, only to be rejected by the others. Finally, one mouse said, "Let's hang a bell around the cat's neck, so that whenever he moves, we can hear him coming and avoid him." "A brilliant idea!" remarked one mouse. "We're saved!" added another. The mice began to celebrate the idea, elated to know the cat problem had been solved. That is, however, until one mouse said, "We've overlooking one thing. Which one of us is going to put the bell on the cat?"