This famous collection of fables from a Greek storyteller and slave uses witty anthropomorphic animals to convey time-tested moral lessons. This audiobook narration squeezes 160 fables into 140 minutes, making each one last less than a minute.

Some tried and true favorites are here, including “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” with morals such as “every man for himself,” “honesty is the best policy,” “pleasing all pleases none,” “misery loves company,” “one good turn deserves another,” and “kicking a man while he’s down”. The narration, especially the animal voices, by reader Johathan Kent are entertaining and engaging, but the short length of each story makes it difficult to become invested.

  • A cock is walking around the farm and sees a pearl. He excitedly picks it up. The other cocks laugh. “You may have a treasure,” one says, “but I’d rather have corn any day.” Moral: The ignorant despise what is precious only because they cannot understand it.
  • A fox, having crept into an actor’s house, rummaged through his wardrobe and found, among other things, a large, beautifully fashioned mask of a monster. He held it in his paws and exclaimed : ‘Ah! What a head! But it hasn’t got a brain! MoralIt is thus that the little things reveal the big things, and that the things which are visible reveal those which are hidden. 
  • A Mule had had a long rest and much good feeding. He was feeling very vigorous indeed, and pranced around loftily, holding his head high. “My father certainly was a full-blooded racer,” he said. “I can feel that distinctly.” Next day, he was put into harness again and that evening he was very downhearted indeed. “I was mistaken,” he said. “My father was an Ass after all.” Moral: Be sure of your pedigree before you boast of it.

Not all of the stories are memorable. A few are even confusing. But mostly, the short length of each stories facilitates reading in sporadic bursts. Otherwise, it all just blurs together.

I find it fascinating that what was important to Greek culture is not only understandable today, but largely still applies over 2500 years later. I would love to read a critical analysis of this collection!