A fable is a short story that delivers a moral lesson. Typically, fables have characters that are animals. Writers use animals because readers will be more likely to see the moral lesson if the characters are not necessarily like them. The lesson is more clear when there are animals involved.
The Tortoise and the Hare
The tortoise and the hare have a race because the hare is bragging about how fast he is. Along the way, the hare is far enough ahead to take a nap, and the tortoise passes him, winning the race. Moral: Slow and steady wins the race.
The Ant and The Grasshopper
In the summer, the ant is busy working, storing food for the winter. The grasshopper does not work-only plays. He makes fun of the ant. When winter comes, the ant is prepared and the grasshopper is not. Moral: Be prepared for a "rainy" day.
The Fox and The Crow
The crow had a piece of cheese, and the fox wanted it. The fox began to give the crow compliments about her singing, asking her to sing. The crow was flattered and began to sing. The cheese fell and the fox took it. Moral: Don't believe a flatterer/Don't be a showoff.
The Goose and the Golden Egg
A farmer had a goose that laid golden eggs, so he sold them and became rich. But, the goose only laid one egg a day, and the farmer wanted more eggs. So, he killed the goose to get the eggs (which means that the goose laid no more eggs). Moral: Greediness is not good.
King Midas and the Golden Touch
King Midas wanted everything he touched to turn to gold. So, his wish was granted. Everything was great, until Midas touched his daughter, and she turned to gold. Moral: Be careful what you wish for.