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Hello everyone and happy Saturday.

Today I want us to consider fables. I think we have all read fables as kids and maybe later too, and are aware of the characters and perhaps an odd idiom every now and then. Consider the sly fox or the proud lion, or maybe idioms like “sour grapes”.
So what is really a fable? First of all objects and animals are given human qualities, they are anthropomorphized, and secondly the fable should teach us a moral lesson. Sometimes the moral is summarized at the end in a pithy maxim. To me it brings some of the elements of a haibun. An author of fables is called a fabulist.
The most well-known fabulist is probably Aesop, whose existence is somewhat clouded in myths. According to legends he was a slave in ancient Greece, and he is mentioned in many different sources, so I prefer to assume that he once lived. The fables are available throughout the internet, so there should be no problem in finding them.
Consider this one for instance


The Sick Lion

A LION, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself with food by force, resolved to do so by artifice. He returned to his den, and lying down there, pretended to be sick, taking care that his sickness should be publicly known. The beasts expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the Lion devoured them. After many of the beasts had thus disappeared, the Fox discovered the trick and presenting himself to the Lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful distance, and asked him how he was. “I am very middling,” replied the Lion, “but why do you stand without? Pray enter within to talk with me.” “No, thank you,” said the Fox. “I notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning.”

He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others.

Indeed, that’s a wise choice, and I’m sure that could be an inspiration for a fable.

The world is full of other well other known fabulists, we have La Fontaine, Hans-Christian Andersen, and Vishnu Sharma. Not to mention all the forgotten fabulists that created stories now only existing as oral traditions. I’m sure that you have a favorite on your personal list.

So for today’s challenge I would like you to either

  • take an existing fable and create a poem out of it, maybe moving the anthropomorphism back to real humans.
  • or, tell your own fable in the form of your preference. I think a world of foxes, lions and scorpions still exists, and can be used to create a poem.
  • or simply rewrite you fable of choice in poetic words, many of the fables were actually poems to start with so you are in great company with the original fabulist.
  • And if you use a fable and not just the characters, please include a reference to that fable. I would love to learn how your world of fables look like.

    • Write a poem and post it to your webpage.
    • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below
    • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join
    • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all go here to have our poems read
    • Promote your site and poetry you like on social media of your choice
    • Promote your site and poetry you like on social media of your choice