A fable is a story in prose or verse that often arrives at a moral. Fables typically use personification (link to that term in the glossary?) featuring animals that speak and act like human beings in order to demonstrate a lesson about human behavior. 

History of the Fable

The Western tradition of fables likely began with Aesop, a legendary Greek storyteller to whom the collection Aesop’s Fables is attributed. The earliest known collection linked to Aesop dates to the 4th century BCE, and popular examples of Aesop’s fables include “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Lion and the Mouse.” Fable flourished in the Middle Ages, and later found a renewed interest in the 19th century as children’s literature became increasingly popular. Fables have had a similarly long history throughout the globe. The oral tradition of fable in India may date as far back as the 5th century BCE with the Panchatantra, a Sanskrit compilation of fables. In Japan, the 8th-century histories Kojiki and Nihon shoki are full of fables.

Fables can exist in both prose and in poetry. Examples of fable poems include Fable by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Rattlesnake Mountain Fable II by Maxwell Bodenheim.