How Well Do You Remember Aesop's Fables?

By: Raj Chander
Estimated Completion Time
8 min
How Well Do You Remember Aesop's Fables?
Image: Digital Vision. / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

For a man whose fables have had such a massive impact on human culture, we know very little about the life of Aesop.

What we do know is that he had a gift for telling riveting stories. Each tale had a theme, typically about behaving the right way - or the consequences of acting from evil, selfishness, or greed. Scholars believe he was of African descent, probably from Ethiopia, and while we don't know for sure, some believe that he was a slave. Aesop was also a problem solver. Legend has it that he dispensed advice to royalty like King Nectanabo of Egypt and King Lycurgus of Babylon - the latter was so grateful for his help that he erected a state of gold in Aesop's honor.

Unfortunately, Aesop's wit and biting tongue got him in trouble with the people of Delphi. Angered over an insult to their character, the people of Delphi planted a gold cup belonging to the god Apollo among Aesop's belongings. He was accused of stealing it and thrown to his death around 560 BC. Though he probably never wrote down his fables, authors, filmmakers, and historians have kept them alive throughout the centuries. How well do you know Aesop's tales? This quiz will tell you!

Chestnuts in bowl What problem does the boy face in The Boy and The Filberts?
He can't find any filberts.
He has so many filberts in his hand that he cannot get it out of the pitcher.
In the fable, the boy is unwilling to drop any of the filberts, making it impossible for him to remove his hand from the pitcher. This story's lesson is to use moderation and not try to always take as much as you can.
He is not allowed to get any filberts.
He believes some of the filberts are poisoned.

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In the Ant and the Grasshopper, what does the grasshopper do wrong?
Tricks the ant.
Spends the summer dancing instead of working.
When winter comes around, the ant refuses to share food that he worked hard to earn during the summer. Besides hard work, this story is also a lesson in thinking ahead.
Steals something important.
Hurts the ant.

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tortoise and rabbit In The Hare and The Tortoise, why does the tortoise end up winning the race?
The fox sabotages the hare.
The hare sprints quickly at first but then stops to sleep, allowing the tortoise to pass him.
In possibly Aesop's most famous fable, the much faster hare is defeated by the tortoise, leading to the story's moral: Slow and steady wins the race.
The hare feels bad and lets the tortoise win.
The tortoise is carried on the back of the leopard.

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Carrion crow In The Crow and The Pitcher, how does the crow finally get to take a drink of water?
He is never able to drink the water.
He gets a smaller bird to help him.
He shatters the pitcher.
He puts pebbles into the pitcher until the water rises up to a level he can reach with his beak.
By solving a problem that at first seemed insurmountable, Aesop's crow teaches us an important lesson: A little creativity can solve even the toughest challenges.

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What does the dove do for the ant in The Ant and The Dove?
Drops a leaf in the water to save him from drowning.
After the dove saves his life, the ant repays the favor by biting the foot of a hunter who is about to catch the dove in a net, allowing his feathered friend to escape. The message in this story is to be kind because it will come back to you.
Eats the ant.
Brings the ant food.
Protects the ant from an elephant.

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What does the little fish try to do to get the fisherman to spare him in the fable?
Tells him he is poisoned.
Tells him that he is small and won't make a good meal until he's bigger.
Unfortunately for the fish, the fisherman declines, leading to the moral of the story: A small gain that is certain is better than the hope for a larger gain in the future.
Talks about his family.
Mentions his rough scales that won't be good to eat.

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How does the kid escape the wolf in the fable of The Wolf and the Kid?
He outruns the wolf.
He tricks the wolf into playing music before eating him, which sends the shepherd dogs running after the wolf.
The wolf learns the moral of this fable the hard way: Don't let anything throw you off track from your main goal, or you may lose your opportunity altogether.
He convinces the wolf to eat something else.
He cries until the wolf feels sorry for him and lets him go.

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What makes the wolf feel bigger than he is in The Wolf and His Shadow?
He has just returned from a successful hunt.
All the other animals have been praising him.
He thinks the other animals are weak.
The setting sun makes his shadow much bigger than his physical body.
His ego inflated by the size of his shadow, the wolf decides to take on the mighty lion - unfortunately, he is dispatched in a single strike. The moral of the story is to not let something that doesn't really matter make you more confident than you should be.

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"In unity there is strength," is the lesson in which of Aesop's fables?
The Crow and The Pitcher
The Tortoise and The Hare
The Bundle of Sticks
In this story, a father asks his quarrelsome sons to break the bundle of sticks together, but none of them can do it. After he separates the bundle, the sticks break easily, which illustrates the father's point: Sticking together makes you stronger than separating.
The Sheep and The Pig

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dog watching toad in pond What mistake does the dog make in The Dog and His Reflection?
He mistakes his reflection for a family member.
He thinks his reflection will help him fight.
He doesn't pay any attention to his reflection.
He drops his prized bone in a river.
The dog mistakes the reflection of himself holding his bone for another dog with a larger bone and decides he wants that bone too, but instead ends up losing the only bone he had. Here, Aesop teaches us to not be greedy and learn to take satisfaction in what we already have.

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What was the hare running for when he got away from the hound in The Hare and The Hound?
A race.
To meet a friend.
To get back home.
Its life.
Even though the hound eventually fails in his pursuit of the hare, he brushes it off, telling other animals mocking him that he was only running for dinner, while the hare was running for survival. The story is a lesson about raising the stakes to improve motivation.

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Why does the hare leave the lion's domain in The Hare and His Ears?
He wants to find food elsewhere.
He is asked to leave by the wise owl.
The lion is angry at all animals with horns and the hare believes his ears will be mistaken for horns.
By leaving the area to make sure the lion doesn't mistake his ears for horns, the hare teaches us the moral of this fable: It's best to make sure that people don't even have the slightest reason to attack you.
He wants to find his family.

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Which figure of speech that means "a final performance" came from Aesop's fable The Swan and The Goose?
Final countdown.
Last hurrah.
Swan song.
In different variations of the story, the swan is mistaken for a goose until its beautiful song is heard, saving its life. The whooper swan has been observed in the wild emitting an oddly musical noise when it dies - scholars believe it is the basis for Aesop's story.
Opening salvo.

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Lion mouse In The Lion and The Mouse, which action by the lion ends up saving his life later?
He brings the mouse food.
He compliments the mouse.
He spares the mouse's life.
After letting the mouse go, the lion gets trapped by a hunter's net. Upon hearing the lion's frustrated roars, the mouse returns to repay the favor, chewing through the net and allowing the lion to escape.
He finds the mouse a wife.

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What is the name of this fable, which also means the largest or best portion of something?
The Cat's Pajamas.
The Lion's Share.
After going hunting with a fox, jackal, and wolf, the lion divides up their catch into four equal parts and takes three of them for himself. The moral of this fable is that whoever has the most power is the one who gets to set the rules.
The Bee's Knees.
The Crocodile's Tears.

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In The Fox and The Stork, the fox fools the stork by serving him soup in a bowl he can't access with his long beak. How does the stork retaliate?
Calling the fox names.
Killing the fox.
Chasing the fox away.
Serving the fox fish in a tall jar that he can't get to.
When the fox becomes angered over not being able to eat the fish, the stork shares the lesson of this fable: Never play a prank on someone unless you are ready to be pranked back.

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What ends up happening at the end of the fable of The Two Goats?
The goats end up getting married.
The goats come to a mutual understanding.
The goats fight to the death.
The goats butt heads until they both fall into a river.
Because the goats are on a narrow bridge without enough room for both to cross, but cannot agree to let the other pass, they both end up falling to their deaths. Here Aesop's lesson is that sometimes it's important to let another person do something first and take your turn second.

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What common saying is derived from the fable of The Fox and The Grapes?
As the crow flies.
A wolf in sheep's clothing.
Two in the bush is worth one in the hand.
Sour grapes
It's only after realizing he cannot reach the grapes that the fox decides they are spoiled and sour, an example illustrating how many people speak badly of things because they cannot have them.

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In The Oak and The Reeds, what is different about the way the oak and the reeds handle wind?
The oak complains while the reeds sit quietly.
The oak stands firm in the face of wind, while the reeds bow over.
Eventually, a huge hurricane comes around with winds so powerful that they shatter the oak, while the reeds survive. Aesop's moral here is that sometimes it's better to yield to what you cannot change, instead of resisting stubbornly and causing things to be worse.
The reeds get jealous of the oak, even though the oak secretly doesn't handle wind well.
Nothing - they both face wind the same way.

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What is the object that the two travelers see floating in the distance in The Travelers and The Sea?
A ship from a far-off land.
A treasure chest.
A watery log.
Although they believe the log is a ship holding treasure and then a fisherman's skiff, it ends up being nothing close to that. The lesson is to never let your fanciful imagination take you away from reality.
A seamonster.

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In The Frogs Who Wished for a King, why do the frogs end up regretting the second king they are sent?
The second king is a fool.
The second king is lazy and doesn't govern them.
The second king is tough and won't listen to them.
The second king is a crane that ends up eating the frogs.
The first king, a log sent by the god Jupiter, is ridiculed by the frogs, who had been requesting a king. When Jupiter sends them a malevolent king who eats them, it illustrates the lesson of this fable: Make sure the changes you seek will improve your condition.

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Smiling Donkey Why does the lion ignore the ass in The Lion and the Ass?
He can't hear the ass.
He doesn't care about the opinion of a fool like the ass.
The lion is at first angered by the ass's braying, but he calms himself down and realizes that there's no point getting himself worked up over an opinion that doesn't matter - a lesson that we all would be wise to heed.
He's friends with the ass' mother.
He plans to come back later and kill the ass.

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In The Frog and The Mouse, the frog uses a reed to tie his leg to the mouse's. What happens next?
He drowns the mouse but doesn't untie himself and both of them are taken away by a hawk who eats them.
The frog deceives the curious mouse into coming into the pond, where he quickly drowns - but before the frog can unbind himself from the mouse, a hawk swoops in and grabs them both to eat. The lesson? When you try to harm others, you often bring yourself down in the process.
The frog and the mouse team up to find food for each other.
They begin fighting each other.
The mouse drags the frog on to dry land.

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In The Sheep and The Pig, why do the sheep not understand why the pig squeals so loudly upon being picked up by the farmer?
The farmer picks them up all the time to cut their wool.
The sheep don't understand that the farmer actually wants to slaughter the pig for meat, since he has only ever cut their hair. This fable explains that it's easy to be brave when you aren't in danger.
The pig is small and shouldn't be able to squeal so loudly.
The farmer is taking the pig back to his home.
The farmer is vegetarian.

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What mistake does the bear make in The Bear and The Bees?
He builds a faulty bridge.
He lets his guard down and is betrayed by the bees.
He lashes out in anger and awakens an entire swarm of bees.
While hunting for honey, the bear carefully inspects a fallen log to ensure no bees are there. Just then, a bee returns home to the log and sees him, immediately stinging the bear. Enraged, the bear begins violently jumping and clawing the log, only to aggravate the entire swarm, forcing him to run away and jump in a nearby water. The moral? Better to suffer a single injury in silence than to make things worse by reacting in anger.
He wears the wrong clothes.

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In the fable, what's the difference between The Crow and The Swallow?
The crow is much larger than the swallow.
The swallow has a different diet than the crow.
The crow's feathers protect him in winter, while the swallow's just look nice.
While the swallow chides the crow for his plain-looking feathers, the crow points out that his feathers actually keep him warm, while the swallow's just have interesting colors.
The swallow is much smarter than the crow.

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In The Farmer and the Stork, what mistake does the stork make?
He pretends to be a rooster.
He attacks the farmer.
He follows the cranes to eat from a newly planted field but gets caught in a net along with them.
The stork pleads with the farmer to let him go, but the farmer points out the lesson of this fable: You are judged by the company you keep, and must pay the price for their misdeeds along with them.
He lies to the farmer about his true intentions.

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What is the lesson in The Boys and the Frogs?
Frogs are not good for people to eat.
Boys and frogs have a lot in common.
Humans and animals don't get along.
What's fun and games for you may be life and death for someone else.
The boys seem to be innocently skipping stones into the pond, but the frogs who live there teach them the lesson of the story: What you do for harmless pleasure might be dangerous for another party.

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In The Beetle and the Eagle, how does the beetle get revenge on the eagle?
He rolls the eagle's eggs out of its nest every season.
By pushing the eagle's unborn eggs out of the nest, the beetle gets vengeance on the eagle for not sparing a hare that had asked the beetle for protection. The lesson is that even the smallest, weakest creatures can cause harm, so it pays to be nice to everyone.
He calls a lion to attack the eagle.
He insults the eagle harshly.
He doesn't do anything to the eagle.

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What is the lesson in The Farmer and The Viper?
Kindness is wasted on bad people.
As a result of the viper killing the farmer who showed it kindness, the expression "viper in my bosom" is often used to refer to someone who is ungrateful or hurts you after attempts to help them.
You must use your time wisely.
It's not what you know, it's who you know.
Sometimes it's better to be good than lucky.

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Which story is about not taking advantage of a person in a bad situation?
The Ant and The Grasshopper
The Bull and The Goat
In this story, the bull takes refuge from a prowling lion by running into a cave that happened to have a goat already in it. The goat begins headbutting the bull, who responds indignantly by telling the goat to wait until the lion leaves if he wants to see real strength.
The Two Pots
The Bear & The Bees

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In The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse, why do the two mice have to interrupt their meal at the town mouse's house?
The house catches on fire.
Two huge dogs entered the room.
The Country Mouse leaves to go back home right after the interruption, explaining to his Town Mouse cousin that he'd rather be at peace and safe while eating meager foods than eat rich foods in a dangerous circumstance.
They realize the food is bad.
The Country Mouse misses home.

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In the story of The Fox and The Leopard, who has the best-looking coat of fur?
The leopard.
Although the leopard has the best physical appearance, the fox points out that he has a sharper intellect, which leads us to the lesson of the fable: Don't judge people's brainpower by their looks.
The fox.
The wolf.
Both are equally good-looking.

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The title character in The Heron learns what lesson while he is hunting for breakfast?
It's best to get what you can while it's available instead of being overly picky
The heron continues to pass on average-sized fish, telling himself that they aren't worth his time, until all the fish swim away entirely, leaving him to eat a snail instead.
It's easier to find fish in deep water.
Always be the first one hunting.
Patience is a virtue.

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In Aesop's fable of Hercules and the Wagoner, how does the wagoner get his cart out of the mud?
He leaves it and buys a new cart.
He praises his horses until they gain the strength to move the cart.
He gets Hercules to help him.
He pushes it out himself.
Instead of using his mythological strength, Hercules simply encourages the wagoner to give it some effort on his own, instead of complaining as he had been. The moral of the story is that it's always better to put in the work to solve a problem, instead of just thinking about how bad it is.

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