Does the 21st century need new Aesop’s Fables?

Depiction of Aesop from Schedel's World Histor...

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Aesop’s Fables are a collection of moral lessons told in stories that are still used to teach children right from wrong. They are credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller who lived in Ancient Greece (620-560 BCE).

Every so often I take a look through the tales for the moral lessons they teach.  Today I found a few whose teachings are contra-creativity.  For the one included below I’ve rewritten the ending to reflect a new attitude, a creativity inspiring one, so needed for life in the 21st century. Let me know what you think.

Belling the Cat

Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat.  Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case.

“You will all agree,” said he, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us.  Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her.   I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat.   By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood.”

This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: “That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?” The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said: “It is easy to propose impossible remedies.”

What if instead the old mouse said: “What ideas can we come up with to bell the cat without anyone getting hurt?”  Wouldn’t that spark new thinking rather than crush the hope of finding a new answer?

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Wondering, are Aesop’s fables, some of the most popular stories on the planet, still worthy and relevant for today’s youth?

About marcisegal

Founder, World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. Speaker,
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