Basic Skills


Paraphrase a Fable

Aesop was a black storyteller from Ethiopia.

A fable is a short story, typically with animals as characters, with a moral (life lesson) at the end.

More than 500 years before Christ, a Greek slave called Aesop (pronounced ee-sop) became famous for his stories. These stories were later collected and written down, and today they are known as "Aesop's Fables."

In this lesson, you're going to paraphrase one of Aesop's Fables.

Let's start by reading the fable.

The Bear and the Bees
by Aesop

A Bear roaming the woods in search of berries happened on a fallen tree in which a swarm of Bees had stored their honey. The Bear began to nose around the log very carefully to find out if the Bees were at home. Just then one of the swarm came home from the clover field with a load of sweets. Guessing what the Bear was after, the Bee flew at him, stung him sharply and then disappeared into the hollow log.

The Bear lost his temper in an instant, and sprang upon the log tooth and claw, to destroy the nest. But this only brought out the whole swarm. The poor Bear had to take to his heels, and he was able to save himself only by diving into a pool of water.

Moral: It is wiser to bear a single injury in silence than to provoke a thousand by flying into a rage.

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio. Go to
    • Writing Exercises
      • Paraphrase a Fable
  2. Paraphrase the fable that you read in this lesson ("The Bear and the Bees").
    • Your paraphrased version should be two or three paragraphs long
    • Minimum Word Count: 150 Words.
    • Tip: To paraphrase something, pretend that you are explaining it to a 5-year old.
  3. When you're finished, return to this page to take the quiz.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.