Throughout Things Fall Apart, there are many fables that glue the book together. We have:

1. The Vulture and the Sky (Ch. 7)

2. Mosquito and the Ear (Ch. 9)

3. The Snake-Lizard and his Mother (Ch. 9)

4. Tortoise and the Birds (Ch.11)

These parables teach the history of Igbo culture, tell us why things work they way they do, and educate the young ones in the clan. After all, these were passed down by ancestors with lessons of honor, family tradition, foolish behavior, and consequences.

Not only do these stories showcase Igbo culture, but they also have important metaphorical lessons in them. I mean, growing up, we all heard fables that taught us lessons like the Tortoise and the Hare (slow and steady wins the race), The Lion and the Mouse (size doesn’t matter when it comes to help), the Ant and the Grasshopper (start early and plan ahead), and the Fox and the Grape (don’t be sour if you can’t get what you want).

What are some of your favorite fables?