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The fable is a short story involving animals with anthoropomrphic qualities which leads to a moral. The most famous fables were written by Aesop, and include The Tortoise and the Hare and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. These were well known during the Middle Ages.

Fables continued to be written during the Medieval and Renaissance period. The most noteworthy authors of fables in this time were Marie de France, Berechiah ha-Nakdan and Biernat of Lublin.

The fable was parodied from the 13th century in France by the fabliau, whose outcomes tended to reward behaviour rather than having a moral.