Thursday, September 21, 2023

Write a fable find a poem

Hello Friend,

It's Friday. Hooray! This week included late afternoon appointments, house guests and, a back-to-school night at work only to be topped off with a flu shot. Hoo boy! I think I'll use this weekend to sleep, sleep, and get a little more sleep.

A few weeks ago, our friend Robyn, shared that she had a book of fables coming out. I excitedly ordered a copy of Out on a Limb: A Book of Fables (Core Essential Values. 2023). 

I loved fables as a kid and taught a lesson using fables with students last year.

Classic Aesop fables, as translated into English aren't easy for today's kids, and English language learners to enjoy. 

Someone should update fables, I thought...and so CEV with help from Robyn has. Thank you!

Out on a Limb contains ten beautiful fables in the classic tradition with updated storylines, new-to-fable animals, science facts, and great discussion questions. These stories, as fables do, share positive lessons on being a good human.

It's difficult to choose a favorite fable from  Out on a Limb. But, to give you a taste of the writing, here is a tiny bit from The Vulture and The Turkey

                "We all live; we all die," said the Vulture.

                The other birds looked at each other.

                "Well, we vultures take care of the dead bodies," she continued.
                "That means, we keep disease               
                 away. You don't get sick, and then you can sing,
                drill holes, or strut around as you please."

                No one spoke.

                "You know the saying, It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it?"
                the Vulture asked. "Well, I am somebody."

After reading Out on a Limb, I thought I'd write my own fable. After several poor starts, I learned just how challenging it can be! I finally scribbled out a beginning, middle, and end of a fable about a jaguar cub (my school's mascot is a jaguar). I found a lesson from a list of Reminders For Hard Days from WholeHearted School Counselor on Teachers Pay Teachers. That really helped me set the moral of the story.

Here's the fable...don't feel obligated to read it. I summarize the highlights in the poem below from words found throughout the fable.

Thank you, Robyn, for sharing your new book with us. I love it! 

Now fly, hop, skitter, or skedaddle on over to Carol at Beyond Literacy for a delightful helping of Poetry Friday. She's back from summer and hosting our round-up this week.

There's a new blitz poem on word's padlet


  1. Love your fable, Linda! (Unfortunately, even grown jaguars can find new ants and leeches to wander into, but tomorrow is a new day for everybody!) Hope you have lots of resting time this weekend!

  2. What a fun process. First, thanks for the mini review of Robyn's book. That was a sweet excerpt and Vulture being somebody who had a tough job. Your fable is precious too. I so love mama's message to him. What a wise parent! And the poem is gorgeous. This seems like an accessible lesson for older students.

  3. Love your fable and poem, Linda (didn't know about Robyn's book!). Also enjoyed your word blitz (esp. pie for breakfast and wingdings). :)Thanks for all!

  4. Linda, thanks for giving us a sneak preview of Robyn's new book. Fables are always great stories that teach a lesson. They have withstood as good foundation pieces of literature throughout the ages. The way you spun your table brought with it a found poem and a lesson learned. Great job! While passing the middle school in Gainesville this past week, I figured it was Back to School night when I say many cars driving out from the parking lot. Enjoy this weekend.

  5. Linda, your journey to this eventual poem has involved a lot of important steps. The vitally important -think before ink. You read, you researched and then you wrote and then you 'found' the treasure buried within your narrative piece. Your process has much to teach the inexperienced writer/poet. Lo and behold, you ended up in a rainforest! What an impressive process you undertook.

  6. I love that you created a poem from your fable, what a clever idea!

  7. So cool that Robyn's work inspired your work - and now you're inspiring me! I'm wanting to try a fable - or maybe a fractured fable. Thank you, Linda!

  8. Your fable reminds me of the book The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I should consider teaching about fables and following your lead.

  9. I've thought about trying to rewrite a fable or fairy tale. You did a fine job plus you summed it up in a poem!

  10. Whew what a week! We had back to school night this week. Hoping the rain helped you get some rest. Love your poem and its connection to the fable.

  11. I love your beginning image,
    " The thick rainforest
    between soft paws"
    and then were you took your poem.
    Yes, what a busy week, hope you enjoy your open weekend and get to relax a bit, thanks Linda!

  12. You educators amaze me. All that you do and yet you still have time to compile treasure troves of inspriation for others. Nice work compiling your fable. Robyn's book caught my eye as well!

    1.'s not about still having time... For me,it's about getting out of my working head into an artistic head and space. This helps me unwind and fuels my creativity. Thanks, though. Educating sure requires a lot these days and as I age...I'm tired! I respect all the educators and public servants working through the grumpy society that demands so much of us right now.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!