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  A fable is a short tale illustrating a moral point. Many come from, or imitate, folk literature. A favourite method of fable is to tell a tale using animals as characters, and anthropomorphizing them in the process. This happens, for example, in the Roman satirist Horace\'s story of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, the Brer Rabbit stories from the USA and George Orwell\'s Animal Farm. Fables, by combining entertainment and moral instruction, have always been favoured forms of writing for children. Even in a more elaborate, literary guise, for example Swift\'s Gulliver\'s Travels or the anecdotes used by Sufi preachers to expound their philosophy of life, they tend to a kind of self-conscious reductionism which can irritate as many adults as it seduces. KMcL  



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