A fable is a moral tale that often features animal characters. “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a well-known fable whose moral is "Slow and steady wins the race."
We often associate fables with the master of them all, Aesop. Among the most famous fables attributed to this storyteller of ancient Greece are "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "The Fox and the Grapes." But like its cousins tale, myth, and legend, the word fable is also used to describe a deliberate fabrication or fiction. In other words, it can be a polite way to describe a lie.