Grandmom, the storyteller
My grandmom is still, to this day, my favorite storyteller. She wasn’t a professional storyteller. I didn’t even understand that she was telling me stories as a kid. Grandmom would just say stuff, and my imagination would take over. I could see the wind talking to the sun. I was there when the fox picked up the cheese from the crow. And when the tortoise crossed the finish line before the hare, I was cheering with all of the other animals. It was later that I learned that all of these were stories. These stores in particular are Aesop’s Fables.
The definition as I know it
Referring back to the info provided by Robin Schultes, fables can be described as “short stories with a moral lesson. They often have animals that act like people.” The ones I’m most familiar with are Aesop’s Fables. As a grown up, I have read different books with different versions of them. Fables exist in other cultures as well. For example, while doing reading for this post, I came across a Native American fable where the coyote steals fire. What I like about fables is they teach a moral, without being too preachy. Fables exemplify the idea that a story should help guide thinking, and not tell you what to think. Fables fit perfectly into folklore. If you recall from my earlier post, folk lore reflects the culture of a group of people (see here). What a great way to ensure important values are passed on by from generation to generation. And sense most, if not all, of the characters in a fable are animals with attributes, telling fables to kids is a great way to get values and lessons embedded early. It’s like a cartoon for their mind.
What I have been using fable for
My youngest daughter, Baby Girl, just turned 9 yrs old in Aug. She loves to read. When she was younger, I bought all kinds of books to read to her. (Actually, I still do) You better believe a bought a pop-up book of Aesop’s Fables. Her favorite one? The Ant and the Grasshopper. It speaks to being work now to have time for enjoyment later. I can’t say that the fable alone is the reason that she likes to get things done early, but she made plans for her birthday 9 months ago.
I’m pretty sure I love telling Baby Girl fables just as much as she loves he stories. It’s a way to connect her to my grandmom who she never got to meet. In many ways, telling Baby Girl a fable is to tell her a story on purpose.
What is a Fable?