Once upon a time…see we told you today’s Wonder would start out that way! The rest of today’s Wonder is no fable, though. But it is about fables!

Do you remember reading fables as a small child? Fables are usually a favorite of children all over the world as they learn to read.

A fable is a short, fictional (made-up) story. It usually features animals, although fables can also include mythical creatures, inanimate objects or forces of nature, too.

In a fable, these characters are given human characteristics. This is called anthropomorphization. Finally, fables tell a simple story in a way that teaches a moral lesson, which is usually summed up at the end with an easy-to-remember phrase.

Fables are one of the most longstanding forms of folk tales. They have been spread from country to country throughout time, mainly through oral storytelling. Almost every country in the world has its own unique fables.

One of the most famous fable writers of all time was the legendary Aesop. Aesop is believed to have been a slave in ancient Greece. Aesop’s Fables contains many classic fables, including The Tortoise and the Hare and The Lion and the Mouse.

Let’s take a closer look at Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare:

One day, a hare made fun of the short feet and slow pace of the tortoise. The tortoise just laughed and said, “Even though you are as swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” The hare thought the tortoise was crazy, so it agreed to the race. The tortoise and the hare asked the fox to choose the course and set the finish line. On the day of the race, the two started together. The tortoise never stopped once. It simply walked with a slow but steady pace to the finish line. The hare, though, believed it would win easily. So it stopped to rest for a while and fell asleep. When the hare finally woke up, it moved as fast as it could. However, it saw the tortoise had already reached the finish line and won the race. Slow but steady wins the race!

What lesson does this fable teach? Do you see how the last line — slow but steady wins the race — sums up the moral lesson of the fable? It means that if you keep working, you finally succeed in achieving your goal.

38 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (6 votes, avg. 4.33 out of 5)
  1. This was a fun wonder. Although I am not a big reader, I still enjoy a nice story from time to time. And although I can’t remember many of them, my favorite is probably the Lion and the Mouse. Also, I think tomorrow’s wonder is going to be about wind powering stuff or about heavy winds. Thanks.

    • Good morning, boyWONDER! Thanks for getting up bright and early for a little WONDERing with us here in Wonderopolis today! Thanks for sharing your favorite fable and also for telling us what you think tomorrow’s Wonder will be about! We hope you have an AWESOME day! :-)

  2. No! :( I was wrong again. Today’s wonder of the day is not about Once upon a time stories. However, I loved today’s wonder! :D I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about balloons.


    • We’re sure there are some fables that begin with “Once upon a time,” TJ! We think your guess was AWESOME! We like your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder, too…you are a GREAT guesser! :-)

  3. Hi,
    It’s us again. We think the Fox in the video should have kept trying to get the grapes instead of giving up and making an excuse. We have read the Hare and the Tortoise and we use that lesson a lot in our class. The book of the Hare and the Tortoise was cool.
    It teaches you a good lesson.
    We are guessing that tomorrow’s wonder could be about calculating the wind or about kites or Ben Franklin or airplanes or tornadoes or hurricanes…. We will be waiting to be blown away! Bye and see you tomorrow.

    • We agree…fables really DO teach us good lessons, Susan and your WONDERful class! You guys are AWESOME for visiting today’s Wonder! Thanks for sharing all your guesses about tomorrow’s Wonder, too. We can’t wait to see what we will all be WONDERing about tomorrow and we’re glad you guys will be here to WONDER with us! :-)

  4. I was wrong about today’s wonder, but it was really cool. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about hot air balloons.

    • It’s OK if your guess wasn’t exactly right, LKvolleyballGirl! Using our Wonder brains and trying to figure out the “Wonder what’s next?” clues is super fun, no matter if our guesses end up being correct or not! Thanks for being an AMAZING Wonder Friend! :-)

    • Hello, Ahmed! Thanks for letting us know you thought today’s Wonder was cool! We really appreciate hearing that! We think your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder is WONDERful, too! :-)

  5. We like this wonder of the day! We think tomorrow will be about wind or kites. Can’t wait to find out!

    • We’re so glad you guys are as excited to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder is as we are, Alison Nixon and class! We like your guesses about tomorrow’s Wonder, too! We’ll meet you guys back here in Wonderopolis tomorrow for more SUPER FUN WONDERing, OK? :-)

    • Happy day, Arielle! We’re so glad you and your classmates are exploring Wonderopolis today and leaving us AWESOME comments! Thank you for sharing your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day®, too! :-)

    • It makes us SUPER happy to hear that you love exploring and learning in Wonderopolis, Jacob! That ROCKS! We really think your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder is great…way to go! :-)

    • We think they’re pretty neat, too, Annamarie! We hope you learned some new fun facts about fables today! We sure did! We liked learning about them and appreciate the lessons they have to teach us about life! :-)

  6. Hi wonderopolis! I agree with boyWONDER. I am not a big reader either, but I also love a good boy every once and a while. My favorite fable is the Tortoise and the Hair. I think that it represents something very important.

    I<3 WONDER

    • Thanks for sharing your favorite fable, Maya! We like that one a lot, too! We’re super glad you enjoy WONDERing in Wonderopolis! :-)

  7. Dear Wonderopolis,
    Nice wonder! I agree with TJ. I think that tomorrow’s wonder will be about balloons or about helium.
    Paige ;0

    • It’s so GREAT to hear from you, Paige! Thank you for stopping by today’s Wonder of the Day® and sharing your comment with us! We hope you are having a SPECTACULAR summer so far! :-)

    • What a special time for you and your dad to hang out together, Carlos! Bedtime stories ROCK, don’t they? We think your dad and mom are AWESOME for encouraging you to WONDER, learn and explore! :-)

  8. Hey we think tomorrow’s wonder will be about wind turbinds! Can’t wait to see if we’re right! Fables are really cool! Thx for the WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • We think WONDERing about the wind would be FUN, WONDERCLASS7! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis today, guys, and sharing your COOL comment with us! :-)

  9. I have a fable to share with all of the Wonderopolis friends!

    The Fox and the Crow
    Once upon a time, there was a hungry fox that was walking along the soggy forest floor. Meanwhile, a crow was swooping down with her claws spread out to grab a piece of cheese that a mouse or rodent must have dropped. The crow flew back to her little perch as the Fox hid in a bush, watching her. Well, I could trick her into getting the cheese, The hungry fox thought. He walked up to the crow slowly. “Hello there crow. What beautiful feathers and light talons you have. And such beady, bright clear black eyes. Oh, and what a glossy little beak you have.” The fox complimented, as part of his plan. The crow shuffled along her branch, not knowing what to do. “Well, um, thank you.” The crow replied gently and sweetly. The fox regretted what he wanted to do, for she was so gentle and nervous, but he thought that the puny, worthless crow should rather starve than him. The Fox then said, “Oh, but if her voice is as sweet as her looks?” The crow looked around nervously, than she opened her little beak and let out a loud “SKWAK!”. The cheese fell from her grip, and the fox walked up to it and gobbled it up. “Why thank you Crow. Maybe you are as kind as I thought. Your voice and looks may be beautiful, but your actions are just even better. I’ll tell all of my friends to come and get some cheese from you. Maybe you’ll be as kind as you were to me.” The fox smirked and pranced away. The crow just watched, stomach growling, and she shrugged. “Its better giving away a little block of 46-day-old cheese than wasting my life on a silly fox.” She cooed out loud. The fox turned around. “46 DAYS OLD!” And he ran up to the tree. The Crow just smiled as the fox jumped up at the tree. “A trickster may be clever at first, but they end up stupid in the end.” And the crow just watched the fox, smiling, for the rest of the day.

    Well, It wasnt exactly right, but yeah. The moral is A trickster can be beaten in his own game!


    • WOW, Jordan! Thanks for sharing such an AMAZING fable with us! We hope that tricky fox learned his lesson! We really appreciate your comment and hope you have an AWESOME day! :-)

  10. Dear Wonderopolis,
    Hi, I’m Grace, I am sick so I didn’t get to go to school today.
    But is tomorrow’s wonder of the day about wind?
    And my class is in room 7 too!

    • We’re super sorry you’re feeling under the weather, Grace. :-( We’re glad you stopped by this Wonder for some FUN learning today, though! We’re not sure what the next Wonder will be about…we’re excited to find out! All of your friends here in Wonderopolis hope you feel better very soon! :-)


    • Thanks for letting us know that you love fables and also that you’re our biggest fan, Wonder Friend! We really appreciate hearing that and want to THANK YOU for your comment! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What’s your favorite fable?
  • Who was Aesop?
  • Can you write your own fable?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to read some fables? Check out the Aesop’s Fables Online Collection to read some of the most famous fables of all time.

If you’re having trouble choosing a fable, try one of these classics:

Do you think you could write your own fable? Why not give it a try? All you need are some animals or inanimate objects to give human characteristics to. What moral lesson do you want to teach? Can you sum it up in a short, catchy sentence? If so, you can write a fable!

If you write your own fable, be sure to share it with your Wonder Friends by posting it on Facebook. We can’t wait to read what you write!

Still Wondering

Explore EDSITEment!’s Fables and Trickster Tales Around the World collection, which introduces students to folktales from around the world.

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