When we're still relying on fables for children written over 2000 years ago, maybe it's time for an update.
Jump to our Modern Fables.
So I, your humble webmaster, have decided to try my hand. I've written a few fables with relevant lessons for children growing up in today's world.
I'll list the modern-day fables here by title and by lesson.
Modern Fables for Children
The Puppy and the Kitten
All these Modern Fables for Children ©Steve Barancik 2010
The Puppy and the Kitten
Puppy and Kitten had the same owner. When the owner was gone, Puppy always wanted to play.
Sometimes Kitten would play; sometimes not. Sometimes she felt it more important to look around the house and find where things were.
"How silly not to have fun every moment you can," harrumphed Puppy. "If ever you should need something, Owner will give it to you."
One day Owner, who had been in an accident, didn't come home. Kitten was able to find food for herself. Puppy had nothing and soon found himself starving.
When Owner finally came home from the hospital, he found Kitten meowing contentedly. Puppy was nothing more than skin and bone, and hadn't even the energy left to wag his tail.
Sadly, once Owner had nursed him back to health, Puppy no longer knew how to have fun. He was too busy worrying all the time about having enough food.
Moral: All play and no work leads to all sad and no happy.
Two Tadpoles were born at the same time. They both still had their tails, though they were just beginning to grow legs.
One Tadpole was eager to be a Frog. "Let us use our little legs to crawl up onto the shore. We will see and experience all the things our parents do."
The Second Tadpole refused. "All in good time," he responded.
"Baby!" called the First Tadpole, as he crawled out of the water and found himself face to face with Snake. He tried to jump away, but his legs weren't yet jumping legs.
He made for a tasty meal.
Moral: Don't be excessively eager to do adult things.
"What a shabby house you have," said Tortoise to Bird. "It's made of sticks, it has no roof, and you had to build it yourself. Compared to my shell - which is my house - it's rather pathetic."
"It's true," said Bird, "that I built my nest myself, that the building materials are rather crude, and that it's open to the elements. Yet I like it."
"I suppose it's no worse than any other nest," said Tortoise. "Still, you must be rather jealous of my house."
"To the contrary," said Bird. "Unlike your shell, there's room in my nest for family and friends. So I daresay that while you may have the better house, I have the better home."
Moral: Better a crowded home than a lonely mansion.
The Fish and the Salamander
At the beginning of time, Fish and Salamander looked very much alike. They were discussing how they planned to evolve.
"I wish to grow thinner and to grow my tail broad," said Fish. "Then I will swim like lightning and outrace any creature in the pond. How about you?"
Salamander considered. "Well, it would certainly be nice to be the fastest creature in the pond. But I think I will keep my awkward tail, which allows me to swim well enough. What I wish to change instead is to grow some modest legs."
Fish laughed. "Legs? In a pond? What a waste!"
Soon, though, came a drought, and the pond began to dry up. Fish was trapped, but Salamander was able to crawl out in hopes of finding another pond.
"How did you know that legs would come in so handy?" cried Fish to his departing friend.
"I didn't," said Salamander. "But I wasn't so naive as to assume that circumstances today would be the same as circumstances tomorrow."
Moral: The versatile are more likely to succeed.
Webmaster's note: Arnold Lobel's Fables won the 1981 Caldecott Medal, making them much more modern fables for children than Aesop's! Check out our review.
More stories with morals.
Did you like our Modern Fables for Children? If you have a thought for a lesson you'd like to teach, let me know. Maybe I'll write a modern-day fable for it and post it to the site!
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