Animal Fables from Around the World


This companion volume to Teaching Fables contains more than 80 stories and fables from classical sources from various cultures around the world.

The Hedgehog and the Hare

A collection of 84 stories

One day the hare met the hedgehog and he said: “You wouldn’t be so bad, hedgehog, except that your legs are crooked, and you stumble.”

The hedgehog grew angry and said: “What are you laughing at? My crooked legs can run faster than your straight ones. Just let me go home for a moment, and then you and I shall run a race!”

The hedgehog went home and said to his wife: “I had an argument with the hare and we’re going to run a race.”

The hedgehog’s wife said: “You must be out of your mind! How can you run a race with the hare? His legs are nimble, while yours are crooked and slow!”

“His legs may be nimble,” replied the hedgehog, “but my wits are nimble. You have only to do as I tell you. Now, let us go to the field.”

They went to the plowed field where the hare was waiting.

“You hide at this end of the furrow,” said the hedgehog to his wife. “The hare and I will start from the other end. As soon as he begins to run I’ll turn around and go back. When he reaches this end you come out and say: ‘I’ve been waiting here a long time for you!’ He can’t tell one of us from the other, and he’ll think you are me.”

The hedgehog’s wife hid in the furrow, and the hare and the hedgehog started their race from the other end.

As soon as the hare began to run, the hedgehog turned back and hid in the furrow. When the hare reached the other end, what did he see?—There sat the hedgehog’s wife!

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time!” she said.

“What a miracle!” thought the hare, who could not tell her from her husband. “How could he have outrun me?”

“Come,” he said aloud, “let’s run again!”

“All right!”

The hare set off, and when he arrived at the other end, what did be see?—There sat the hedgehog!

“Well, brother,” he said, “at last you’re here! I’ve been waiting a long time!”

“What a miracle!” thought the hare. “No matter how fast I run, he always outruns me!”

“Come,” he said, “let us run again, and this time you won’t beat me!”

“All right!” said the hedgehog.

The hare hopped away as fast as he could, but again the hedgehog sat waiting at the end of the furrow.

And thus the hare continued hopping from one end of the furrow to the other until he was exhausted.

He finally gave up and said that henceforth he would never argue again.

Fables from Aesop

  • The Lion and the Mouse
  • The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
  • Juno and the Peacock
  • The Frogs and the Mice
  • The Horse and the Overloaded Ass
  • The Hare and the Tortoise
  • The Fox and the Stork
  • The Fox and the Ass
  • The Fox and the Crow
  • The Peacock and the Crane
  • The Cock and the Fox
  • The Mice in Council
  • The Oak and the Reed
  • The Dog and His Shadow
  • The Lion, the Tiger, and the Wolf
  • The Lion and the Three Bulls
  • The Mouse and the Weasel
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper
  • The Country Mouse and the City Mouse
  • The Fox and the Grapes
  • The Wind and the Sun
  • The Shepherd’s Boy and Wolf
  • The Crow and Pitcher
  • The Tortoise and the Two Ducks
  • The Ass Carrying Salt
  • The Olive Tree and the Fig Tree
  • The Panther and the Shepherds
  • The Partridge and the Fowler
  • The Ant and the Dove
  • The Gnat and the Bull
  • The Eagle, the Cat and the Wild Sow
  • The Wolves and the Sheepdog
  • The Ass and the Lapdog

Fables by Tolstoy

  • The Mouse under the Granary
  • Birds in a Net
  • The Raven and his Young
  • The Hedgehog and the Hare
  • The Duck and the Moon

Fables by Lessing

  • The Wolf, a Hero
  • The Goose
  • The Oak and the Pig
  • The Donkeys
  • The Sparrows
  • The Wild Apple Tree
  • The Bramble
  • The Archer and his Bow
  • The Bear and the Elephant
  • Jupiter and the Horse
  • The Nightingale and the Peacock
  • The Ostrich
  • The Wolf and the Shepherd’s Dog
  • The Benefactors
  • The Old Stag and the Young Stag
  • Solomon’s Ghost
  • The Sheep and the Swallow
  • The Ox and the Stag
  • The Lion and the Hare

African Fables

  • The Hedgehog and the Dog
  • The Clever Ape and the Foolish Wolf
  • The Cat and the Rat
  • The Guinea Fowl and the Hen
  • The Frog’s Saddle Horse
  • The Rat and the Toad
  • The Man and the Crocodile
  • The Wren and the Camel

Fables from India

  • The Washerman’s Jackass
  • The Cat who Served the Lion
  • The Terrible Bell
  • The Black Snake and the Golden Chain
  • The Lion and the Old Hare
  • The Ass in a Tiger’s Skin
  • The Weaver Birds and the Monkeys
  • The Dyed Jackal
  • The Hermit and the Mouse
  • The Peacock, the Crow and the Tortoise
  • The Lawsuit
  • The Peacock and the Tortoise
  • The Lean Cat and the Fat Cat
  • The Ape and the Boar
  • The Fox and the Piece of Meat
  • The Hen and the Falcon
  • The Tortoise and the Geese
  • How the Turtle Saved his own Life
  • The Crab and the Crane
  • The Banyan Deer