Aesop: Aesop's Fables
The habit of telling stories is one of the most primitive characteristics of the human race. The most ancient civilizations, the most barbarous savages, of whom we have any knowledge have yielded to investigators clear traces of the possession of this practise, The specimens of their narrative that have been gathered from all the ends of the earth and from the remotest times of which we have written record show traces of purpose, now religious and didactic, now patriotic and political; but behind or beside the purpose one can discern the permanent human delight in the story for its own sake.
The Æsopic Fables are allegorical tales The form of the old animistic story is used without any belief in the identity of the personalities of men and animals, but with a conscious double meaning and for the purpose of teaching a lesson. The fable is a product not of the folk but of the learned; and though at times it has been handed down by word of mouth, it is really a literary form.