Ancient Greece
Aesop and His Fables

Aesop and His Fables
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.41

     challenging words:    necessity, famous, various, legendary, tribute, tales, reading, mysterious, phrase, actually, slave, unknown, term, works, anger, false

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Aesop and His Fables
By Vickie Chao

1     Aesop was a famous Greek storyteller. But he was also a legendary figure. For centuries, scholars have tried to figure out if he had actually existed. Some believe he did. Others think he did not. For those who believe he did, they could not say for sure where he had come from. They also could not say for sure when he was born. Among the various theories, one claimed that Aesop was once a slave in the 6th century B.C. After he was freed, he became an advisor to Croesus, the King of Lydia. One day, Croesus sent Aesop to a city called Delphi. He gave the famous storyteller a large sum of gold and asked him to distribute it among the citizens there. But for whatever reason unknown to us, Aesop did not give out the money. Filled with anger, the citizens of Delphi killed him.
2     Mysterious as he was, Aesop was the rumored author of hundreds of fables. His stories were always very short. And they always ended with a moral lesson. Of his works, there were several that were so popular that they have since become part of our vocabularies. For example, we use the term "sour grapes" to describe a person who belittles something simply because he could not get it. That term was derived from Aesop's story "The Fox and the Grapes." We use the phrase "cry wolf" to blame a person for raising a false alarm. That phrase was borrowed from Aesop's story "The Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf."
3     For thousands of years, children everywhere have enjoyed reading Aesop's fables a lot. They like them because they are easy to understand. Their parents like them, too, because the tales offer good advice. The advice never goes out of style.

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