This Fable is Intended for You

This Fable is Intended for YouThis Fable is Intended for You

You’re getting the entire text of this story because I don’t see any point in trying to summarize something so short.

Wise men of ancient times ingeniously discovered how to tell people the truth without being blunt to their faces. You see, they held a magic mirror before the people, in which all sorts of animals and various wondrous things appeared, producing amusing as well as instructive pictures. They called these fables, and whatever wise or foolish deeds the animals performed, the people were to imagine themselves in their places and thereby think, “This fable is intended for you!” In this way no one’s feelings were hurt. Let us give you an example.

There were two high mountains, and at the top of each stood a castle. In the valley below ran a hungry dog, sniffing along the ground as if in search of mice or quail. Suddenly a trumpet sounded from one of the castles, to announce that mealtime was approaching. The dog immediately started running up the mountain, hoping to get his share; but when he was halfway up, the trumpeter ceased blowing, and a trumpet from the other castle commenced. “Up here,” thought the dog, “they will have finished eating before I arrive, but over there they are just getting ready to eat.” So he ran down, and up the other mountain. But now the first trumpet started again, while the second stopped. The dog ran down again, and up again; and this he continued until both trumpets stopped blowing, and the meals were over in both castles.

Now guess what the wise men of ancient times would have said about this fable, and who the fool could be who runs himself ragged without gaining anything, either here or there?

The End


This is kind of a story inside of a story. There is the fable about the dog running between two places, but there is also the structure this story of the dog sits inside. We have a story-teller, whom we can’t see, telling us about this dog. We could assume this story-teller is Hans, or we could assume that it is someone whom Hans has made up. Either way, we get a person telling us a story inside of another story.


Fables are intended to be likened unto all of us, just as parables from the Bible. You can look at Aesop’s fables or you can look at the parables that Christ tells in the New Testament. Either way, there is something in each and every one for you. We humans are different from one another, but we’re not so different that we don’t have common experiences. Most of us experience similar things in life, including quandaries, disappointments, and hopes. Stories like Aesop’s fables can help us straighten a few things out and perhaps put our lives in perspective.

The moral of this story is not to be the dog. The dog was indecisive and so the dog missed food at both houses. You must learn to make a choice. If you don’t make a choice there is a chance life will pass you by and you will have no opportunities.


This is one smart dog if you think about it, or perhaps it’s stupid. Generally, a dog is going to go towards the first hint of food not caring who else might have food, that isn’t to say the dog won’t hit up another person who has food directly after eating food elsewhere, it’s just that a dog has a fairly good determination as far as food is concerned and wouldn’t waffle between two choices of food.

aesop, dog, fables, fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen!!, indecisive, parables, This Fable is Intended for You, This Fable is Intended for You hans christian andersen
Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian


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