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  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Beast-fables stories in which animals play human parts—a widely-spread primitive form of literature, often surviving in more or less developed forms in the more advanced civilisations
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. beste (Fr. bête)—L. bestia.


In literature:

Beast Fables, in the Midrash, 64-67. examples of, 65-66.
"Chapters on Jewish Literature" by Israel Abrahams
Did you ever hear of a beast talking, Ernest, except in a fable?
"The Last of the Peterkins" by Lucretia P. Hale
By the time she left the school her life had become almost as solitary as that of the bat in the fable, alien both to bird and beast.
"The Bread-winners" by John Hay
In many fables, birds and beasts are represented as speaking.
"Parker's Second Reader" by Richard G. Parker
Hence, the Homeric fable that Circe transformed men into beasts.
"Beauty" by Alexander Walker
The Zulu tales which Bleek had before him present a character very different from that of the Hottentot beast-fables.
"Jamaican Song and Story" by Walter Jekyll
And now it was clear that the garden of Eden was all a fable, that man had never been perfect, that he had evolved slowly out of the beast.
"The Hearts of Men" by H. Fielding
Why, the earliest fables all begin with the words "Once upon a time when beasts talked," but that is long ago!
"The Strange Story Book" by Mrs. Andrew Lang

In news:

To welcome the Year of the Dragon, China's postal service plans to release commemorative postage stamps featuring the fabled beast.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (PG-13) is a down-home yet apocalyptic fable, featuring a 6-year-old in a delta shack, facing the possible end of the world.