The UVic Writer's Guide


A fable is a short story with a didactic purpose--illustrating a moral or general truth about human nature, frequently allegorical, in nature, and often ending with an epigram..)

In the beast fable, the moral or general truth is exemplified by the experiences of animals with human characteristics, as in Aesop's fable about a lion and a boar who fight over drinking rights at a spring while vultures look on awaiting their deaths. The fable concludes with this epigram:.

Strife and contention are ill things, which end in danger for all parties, if they have not the sense to be reconciled.

(See Allegory. )

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated May 13, 1995