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Aesopos (Greek Αἴσωπος, shortened to Aesop in modern English) was a slave, later freedman, living somewhere in Asia Minor in the sixth century BC. If, that is, he existed at all.
But European fables — mostly Beast Fables — have a marvelous tendency to accrete onto the collections claimed to be his. Being fables, they have rather obvious morals, which are sometimes (but not always) explicitly pointed out at the end.
- An Aesop
- Androcles' Lion
- Country Mouse and City Mouse — the same fable.
- Crying Wolf
- The Farmer and the Viper
- Heal Thyself
- Honest Axe
- Leonine Contract
- Who Will Bell the Cat?
- Beast Fable
- The City vs. the Country: The Country Mouse visits her friend the City Mouse. While at first impressed by his lavish lifestyle, she soon changes her mind once she learns about the cat living in the same house.
- Consummate Liar: One of the two travellers in "The Apes and the Two Travellers", the other traveller is an inversion of this.
- Cunning Like a Fox: The Ur Example.
- Dirty Coward: One of the soldiers in "The Two Soldiers and the Robber".
- Downer Ending: A couple, such as "The Wolf and the Lamb" and "The Crab and the Fox".
- Wicked Weasel: Since the cats hadn't arrived to Europe yet, the weasels took the roles usually reserved for the felines.
- Manipulative Bastard: The depiction of the fox in the various fables are often this.
- Readers Are Morons: Some of the fables (usually the more famous ones) outright stated the Aesop of the story in the form of a sentence at the end of the story.
- Somebody Else's Problem: The attitude of the ass in "The Ass and The Old Peasant".