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Fable, short story that usually teaches a moral. The characters are generally animals with human characteristics; they illustrate human follies humorously. The earliest collection is the Fables of Aesop 4th century B.C. As a literary form the fable flourished in France, particularly in the 17th century with Jean de la Fontaine.

See also: Aesop; Allegory; Folklore; La Fontaine, Jean de.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Erasistratus to Federalism