Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reading Diary B: Aesop's Fables (Jacobs)

Here were my favorite stories from Aesop's Fables (Jacobs and Crane).

Frogs and Fish. My favorite fable for sure here is The Frogs Desiring a King. That fits right in with the liberty theme that I prize so much in Aesop; why would any creature, even a creature as foolish as a frog, give up its liberty in exchange for tyranny? Plus the fact that we really do often end up with terrible politicians as our leaders resonates perfectly with this story. We are such frogs! Ouch!

Nature and Inanimate Objects. I love the story titled The Man and the Woods where the woods foolishly give the woodcutter the very tool that he needs to destroy them. We are often our very own worst enemies, and this fable provides such a dramatic illustration of that. The point is not how wicked the woodcutter is, but instead how foolish the trees are to help him.

Humans and Gods. The story of Hercules and the Wagoner is one of my very favorite Aesop's fables. I really do believe that "the gods help them that help themselves," so it is reassuring to know that Aesop also believed the same, 2000 years ago when Hercules was a god!

People Wise and Foolish, Part 2. I like all the fables on this page so much. Of course, the one about The Milkmaid and Her Pail where she is imagining her future wealth is a mistake that I have been guilty of many times in my life - not so much about imagining how I will get rich, but other kinds of fantastical expectations that of course never came true, despite my high hopes and step by step plans! I'm pretty sure I knew this fable when I was little, too.

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