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Aesop was a slave and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece around 620-564 BC. No writings by him exist (if they ever existed at all), yet numerous stories and tales have been credited to him and have been shared through oral tradition throughout the world.
Many of these use animals as the main characters to convey deeper meanings and morals that have become ingrained in our cultural -- and personal -- belief systems. For example, in The Goatherd and the Goat we learn that there is no use trying to hide what can't be hidden. In The Ass and the Purchaser we find that people are known by the company they keep. In The Boys and the Frogs, one persons pleasure may be another persons pain. The Dogs and the Fox show how easy it is to kick a man when he's down. And misery loves company, as we see in The Fox Without a Tail.