What Are Some Examples of Fables From Ancient Greece?

Fables have been a part of human culture for centuries. These are stories that often convey a moral lesson, using animals or other non-human characters as the protagonists.

Ancient Greece is one of the most prominent sources of fables, and their stories have stood the test of time. In this article, we will explore some examples of fables from ancient Greece.

The Fox and the Grapes

One of the most well-known fables from ancient Greece is “The Fox and the Grapes.” In this fable, a fox sees some grapes hanging from a vine but can’t reach them.

After several attempts to jump and grab them, he gives up and declares that they are probably sour anyway. The moral lesson of this fable is that people often reject what they cannot have.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Another famous fable is “The Tortoise and the Hare.” This story tells of a hare who is so confident in his speed that he challenges a tortoise to race him.

The hare takes an early lead but becomes complacent and takes a nap during the race. The tortoise, who has been steadily plodding along, eventually overtakes him and wins. The moral lesson here is that slow but steady wins the race.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is another popular fable from ancient Greece. In this story, a young boy who tends sheep decides to play a trick on his fellow villagers by shouting “wolf!” even though there is no danger present.

The villagers rush to help him only to find out that it was a false alarm. When he does it again and there really is a wolf attacking his sheep, no one believes him because they think it’s just another prank. The moral lesson here is that lying has consequences.

The Lion’s Share

“The Lion’s Share” is a fable about a lion who goes hunting with a group of animals. After the hunt, the lion claims that he deserves the largest share of the spoils because he is the king of beasts.

The other animals agree, but when the lion decides to take an even bigger share than he originally asked for, they protest and drive him away. The moral lesson here is that greed can lead to one’s downfall.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Finally, “The Ant and the Grasshopper” is a fable that tells of an ant who spends his summer gathering food while a grasshopper plays and sings. When winter comes and food becomes scarce, the ant has enough stored up to survive, while the grasshopper is left hungry. The moral lesson here is that hard work pays off in the end.


Fables from ancient Greece continue to be popular today because they contain timeless lessons that are still applicable in modern times. By using animals or other non-human characters as protagonists, these stories become more relatable and easier to remember. Whether it’s learning about greed, hard work, or honesty, these fables provide valuable insights into human behavior.