This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".

"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

Aesop's myths


The various collections that go under the rubric "Aesop's Fables" are still taught as moral lessons and used as subjects for various entertainments, especially children's plays and cartoons.


Most of what are known as Aesopic fables is a compilation of tales from various sources, many of which originated with authors who lived long before Aesop.

Aesop himself is said to have composed many fables, which were passed down by oral tradition. Socrates was thought to have spent his time turning Aesop’s fables into verse while he was in prison. Demetrius Phalereus, another Greek philosopher, made the first collection of these fables around 300 BC. This was later translated into Latin by Phaedrus, a slave himself, around 25 BC. The fables from these two collections were soon brought together and were eventually re-translated into Greek by Babrius around A.D. 230. Many additional fables were included, and the collection was in turn translated to Arabic and Hebrew, further enriched by additional fables from these cultures.


The place of Aesop's birth was and still is disputed: Thrace, Phrygia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Samos, Athens, Sardis and Amorium all claimed the honor. It has been argued by modern writers that he may have been of African origin: the scholar Richard Lobban has argued that his name is likely derived from "Aethiopian", a word used by the Greeks to refer mostly to dark-skinned people of the African interior. He continues by pointing out that the stories are populated by animals present in Africa, many of the creatures being quite foreign to Greece and Europe.

There is also a possible link to Islam.Often confused with Aesop, and having lived several centuries earlier, Aesop's fables may be derived from the works of Lokman.

The life of Aesop himself is shrouded in obscurity. He is said to have lived as a slave in Samos around 550 B.C. An ancient account of his life is found in The Book of Xanthus the Philosopher and His Slave Aesop.

According to the sparse information gathered about him from references to him in several Greek works (he was mentioned by Aristophanes, Plato, Xenophon and Aristotle), Aesop was a slave for someone called Xanthus (Ξανθος), who resided on the island of Samos. Aesop must have been freed, for he conducted the public defense of a certain Samian demagogue (Aristotle, Rhetoric, ii. 20). He subsequently lived at the court of Croesus, where he met Solon, and dined in the company of the Seven Sages of Greece with Periander at Corinth. During the reign of Peisistratus he was said to have visited Athens, where he told the fable of The Frogs Who Desired a King to dissuade the citizens from attempting to depose Peisistratus for another ruler. A contrary story, however, said that Aesop spoke up for the common people against tyranny through his fables, which incensed Peisistratus, who was against free speech.

The following is only 40 titles from the whole work of Aesop, which is estimated to be 135 Myths

        1. The north wind and the sun
        2. The hard-working and the drone
        3. The child who was stealing and his mother
        4. The kingfisher
        5. The lion and the mouse
        6. The dog, the rooster and the fox
        7. The lion in love and the farmer
        8. The viper and water snake
        9. The daw and the Pigeons
        10. The mosquito and the lion
        11. The shepherd that was joking
        12. The Lion, the fox, and deer
        13. The fox and the monkey
        14. The two beetles
        15. The farmer and his dogs
        16. The woodcutter and Hermes
        17. The Manage and the fox
        18. The wild cat and a rooster
        19. The eagle and the foxes
        20. The robbers and raspberry tree
        21. The cat and the mice
        22. The wolf and the goat
        23. The old lady and the lion
        24. The goat and the donkey
        25. The old lady and the doctor
        26. The imprisoned lion and the hunters
        27. The wolf and the grazing
        28. The man and the foxes
        29. The wife and chores
        30. The farmer and the iced snake
        31. The goat and the goat shepherd
        32. The wolf and lamb
        33. The robbers and the rooster
        34. The daw and the birds
        35. The wolf and the old lady
        36. The old man and death
        37. The bird and the bat
        38. The wild cat and hens
        39. The tone and dolphins
        40. The mouse and the frog


The cicada and the ants

 It was raining for a whole day and night and the soil turned into mud and water and ran through the anthill. Ants’ food was soaked. The next day the rain stopped and the sun shined in the sky.  There weather was good for a whole week. When the soil dried, the ants carried all their food out from the hill so it could be dried from the sun. The ants will have food to eat until the next summer. A cicada, which was hiding from the rain appeared and started searching for food. Cicadas eat leaves from the trees. Unfortunately the trees didn’t have leaves and the cicada didn’t have anything to eat. It went to the ants and told them.

-    Can you give me some food?
-    Why? the ants asked. Don’t you have any food?
-    No, the cicada answered.
-    What did you do at the previous summer?
-    Summer was very nice and I was singing.
-    Well, if you were singing at summer, now in winter it is a good idea to dance, answered the ants.

And the cicada understood how foolishly he reacted. He should have collected food when it was still summer instead of entertaining himself.

The two mice

Once upon a time a mouse that lived in a city decided to go for a walk in the countryside. There he meet a mouse that lived in the fields and they became friends. The mouse that lived in the fields offered the city mouse fruit and other vegetables.  They ate, and then the city mouse told his friend to come in the city to see how it was and to eat food there too. So, a week later the two mice went to a cellar of an old city house. When the mouse from the fields saw all this food, that he didn’t  know existed, he was very excited.

-    All this food is for us, my friend! ,said the city mouse. Let’s eat.

Cheese, fruit, honey, potatoes and many other things. All of them were delicious. Suddenly, footsteps were heard.

-    We must hide! said the city mouse to his friend. The owner of the house is coming and if she sees us she will catch us.

They hid behind a box. The owner left and the two mice went out again.

-    Taste the honey said the city mouse.

There is nothing more delicious.

-    Wow! said his friend. I am jealous of you because you live in the city and you eat so many delicious things.

But suddenly footsteps were heard again. The two mice saw the owner with her cat coming.

-    Here, my cat. These awful mice are hiding in the cellar.

She left living the cat in the cellar. The two mice were very frightened so they stayed hidden. Luckily, the cat found a cup with milk and started drinking. So, the two mice ran quickly to their nest.

-    We escaped! said the city mouse to his friend . Tomorrow night we will come again.
-    Are you sure that the cat won’t come?
-    I am not sure at all but what can I do? Stay in my nest and have nothing to eat?
-    Does this happen every night?
-    Some nights nobody disturbs me. Well, calm down and tomorrow we will eat new and tastier food.
-    No, my friend, told the mouse of the fields. I will return to the countryside. I can’t stand being scared every night. I prefer eating fruit and vegetables and live in peace and quiet rather than eating honey and meat and being afraid of the cat. Goodbye and thank you for your hospitality.

And the mice of the fields run quickly to return to the countryside.

The lion which was afraid of a mouse and a fox

Once upon a time, a lion was sleeping in its cave. All night over  it was hunting, it had eaten a lot and it wasn’t hungry anymore so it was having a deep nap and was snoring. All the other wild animals which were living in the same area were listening to the lion’s snore and were  running away because even if it was asleep it was still frightening.

Only a fox passing by the cave, listened to  the snore and stayed to watch the king of the animals sleeping. Then  a mouse which  was already in the cave, wanted to leave so it creeped over the lion’s body, because there was no other way of escape. The lion woke up immediately, frightened, looking for what was creeping over it. The fox started laughing and making fun of it.

-I had never imagined that you, the king of the animals, will be scared of  a little mouse.

-Of course I wasn’t scared of it, answered the lion. I was taken aback that there is an animal which can walk over a sleeping lion’s body!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The bird and the bat

There was a bird which was enclosed into its cage that was next to the window. It was spring, the window was left opened and the bird was thinking of its life at forest, where it could fly free, and was singing.  All over the day when its owners were awake and were walking around the house, the bird was frightened so it wasn’t singing.

But when it was night and its owners were sleeping, the enclosed bird wasn’t afraid anymore so it was singing about its sadness. A bat, whose cave was near the bird’s cage, and was out for hunting the night, noticed the bird. A night flew over the bird’s cage and asked it:

-Can you tell me the reason why you are silent all day and start singing at night?
-Because I am afraid when its morning, explained the bird.  I was singing all day only when I was living in the forest. Then I was caught by people and enclosed in this tight "prison". Since then, I realized that it is better singing only at night.
-Now it is quite late, said the bat. You should have been more careful of people, when you were free. Now even if you are careful, there is actually no reason since you are already captured.

 The farmer and the frozen snake

On a winter’s morning, a farmer who went at his fields, came across to a snake , frozen by the cold. The farmer was very sensitive and felt sorry for it.

-Oh, pour snake! he was speaking alone.

It is frozen and it may be dead. But if not, it is possible to get well by the warm of my house. But how can somebody make a snake feel warm? He thought to return home but it was quite far away and he had to finish his work.

-Lets put it in my coat, he thought. It’s really warm in here.

So the snake came back to life quickly, felt happy that it was alive, and bit the farmer on his chest. The pour farmer died immediately because of the poison.

-I deserved it just because I felt sorry about an unthankful … murmured the farmer leaving his last breath!!!!

Moral: Learn from my fate not to take pity on a scoundrel. The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.

The wayfarers and the axe

Once upon a time, two friends began for some work and walked discussing. Where they walked, in the forest, the one of them saw that something burnished between the grasses.  He bent to see and he lifted an brand new axe.

- We found an axe! shouted cheerful his companion.

The one however, that had found the axe was upset and it says:

-You do not say we only found a axe, you say: you found a axe.

But, while they advanced, meet three-four lumberjacks, that had lost their new axe and searched they find him. When they saw the two wayfarers, that the one kept to them the axe, they fell above angry.

- We were lost! shouted the one that had found kept him in his hands.

Turns then his friend and says to him:

- Do not say we were lost, you say: I was lost! Neither when you found the axe you wanted me for your companion, neither now that to you him will take and eat also timber want me you will have my companion!

The story shows that if people are not allowed to share in your good fortune, they will not stand by you in times of trouble.

The north wind and the sun

Once upon a time, the Sun and the North wind touched a big discussion for whom of the two was the strongest.
- Me, said the Sun.
- No, Me, said the North wind.

And they had so much tenacity, because none of them wanted to recede. So it was no conclusion, neither is come out never, so much stubborn that were also their two.

- I propose to You a bet! said end the North wind.
- Which bet? asked the Sun.
- We choose in the chance a person and that from the two us does accomplish and undress, is the strongest.
- Hmmmm, I accept the bet! said the Sun.

In a short time, appeared in the plain a person, that was alone. Began then, the North wind, to blow hard. The pedestrian bent his head and crossed his hands, on t o breast, in order to it is protected from air. Did the north wind blow more hard and the pedestrian, clasped his clothes and because the North wind you strengthen his blow, so the poor person  removed a woolen blanket, that carried with him in a poke, and wrapped with it, in order not to freeze. As long as more hard it blew the North wind, so much more tight was wrapped in the blanket him the pedestrian. In the end, the North wind bored and was ceased it blows. It in sunlight turned to also it said him:

- Your line now you try to undress him.

The sun appeared in the sky, as soon as it stopped blows the North wind, and immediately the pedestrian removed from on his blanket and put him in the poke. Strengthened the glare of the Sun and the passer clasped of the garment.

But the Sun  strengthen always more a lot his shine and the pedestrian, that had begun to sweat, it began to remove one by one his clothes, until, in the end he remain undressed  and looked at right and left, if there was a tree in order to go and lay down in shadow. Because however he did not find tree, it fall in the river, that passed there near and it remained in water, until the Sun, slowly-slowly, dwindled his shine.

- You  are the strongest! admitted the North wind, bidding farewell to Helium.

MORAL: Persuasion is better than force, and a kind and gentle manner will get quicker results than threats.

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