The Crow & the PitcherIn a spell of dry weather, when the Birds could find very little to drink, a thirsty Crow found a pitcher with a little water in it. But the pitcher was high and had a narrow neck, and no matter how he tried, the Crow could not reach the water. The poor thing felt as if he must die of thirst.
Then an idea came to him. Picking up some small pebbles, he dropped them into the pitcher one by one. With each pebble the water rose a little higher until at last it was near enough so he could drink.
In a pinch a good use of our wits may help us out.
I have been thinking about Aesop and how well he is remembered in our time. Isn't it amazing that Aesop's simple stories about animals behaving like people would have such staying power, and that at least a few are known to just about all of us in the Western world? Quite a few of the fables, which number in the hundreds, use food or drink to make their point. The well-known moral of the fable of the crow is sometimes also rendered "Necessity is the mother of invention." The version I included comes from “The Aesop for Children: with Pictures by Milo Winter,” published by Rand, McNally & Co in 1919, now in the public domain, and made available by the Library of Congress. (source)
The Tortoise and the Hare was even made into a Disney cartoon in 1935! The moral of this fable is unforgettable: "Slow and Steady Wins the Race." Also unforgettable: "Look Before You Leap," the moral of The Fox and the Goat, or "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched" from The Milkmaid and her Pail. The tale of a wolf in sheep's clothing is another Aesop fable that has lasted all these centuries: the too-clever wolf, pretending to be a sheep, is slaughtered by the farmer who wants some lamb to cook for dinner. And doesn't everyone know the term "sour grapes" from the following fable?
The Fox & the Grapes
|Aesop with a Fox, around 470 BCE (source)|
Aesop himself is most likely legendary, a convenient name to associate with the 725 fables that illustrate good behavior and good self-discipline, among other moral traits. According to tradition, Aesop was a slave, living in sixth-century BCE Athens, Greece. The details of his life vary, depending on which author's work you choose to believe -- but all the legends agree that he was a very clever person!
For a list of quotes that are frequently borrowed from Aesop, see this: 19 Everyday Expressions that Came from Aesop.
The Biblical Book of Proverbs, dating from about the same era as Aesop's fables, contains many similar morals, such as "If you make a trap for others, you will fall in it yourself," or "A gentle answer turns away wrath," but these words of wisdom don't come with entertaining animal stories to cement one's understanding of them!
|The North Wind and the Sun illustrated by Arthur Rackham.|
Another of my favorites from Aesop's fables. (source)
|The Lion and the Mouse. (source)|
This blog post © 2021 by mae sander for mae food dot blog spot dot com.
I'm sharing this with Elizabeth's weekly blog party celebrating drinks.