Sunday, January 31, 2016
Dinner with Socrates, No. 3 at the Bosconian Review ~ What's Your Purpose, Kid?
The Aesop for Children, with Pictures by Milo Winters Rand McNally, 1919.
Like Homer, very little is known about Aesop. The historian Herodotus mentions that “Aesop the fable-writer” was a slave of a Samian, who was supposed to have won his freedom and taken up a position as adviser to kings, travelling in the role of an ambassador until his death. Aesop, famously, wrote fables.
Fables are folksy, moral stories that teach a lesson; they are one of the oldest types of recorded story. Aesop’s stories probably come from a very long oral tradition of folk tales stretching out long before Aesop himself came on the scene. Interestingly, fables emerge in written form in several places all over the world at about the same time in history, the seventh century.
The discussion questions for this reading focus on the particular lesson of the fable we read. This “Dinner” is accessible to younger kids than those prior to it, but the questions are weighty enough for the mellowed philosopher, as well.