Adapted by Catherine Bush
with Music by Ben Mackel
Aesop is in trouble, and his only hope lies in his ability to weave fantastic stories with timeless lessons of truth. So it is that fables such as Androcles and the Lion, The Oak and the Reed, The Fox Without a Tail, The Beast in Love, The Hare and the Tortoise and The Boy Who Cried Wolf are brought to life in this exciting, new musical adventure.
Aesop, a Greek slave, has escaped from his cruel master Xanthus. In the forest he discovers a wounded Lion with a thorn his paw. When Aesop removes the thorn, the Lion pledges his gratitude but is unable to prevent Aesop’s capture and subsequent return to the house of his master. Xanthus, heartbroken and bitter over the recent death of his wife Calliope, is determined to put Aesop to death for escaping. Aesop’s only hope for salvation is to regale Xanthus with stories whose lessons not only help Xanthus cope with his suffering but help him remember happier times with Calliope as well. So it is that we hear various fables including The Oak and the Reed (it is better to bend than to break),
The Fox Without a Tail (misery loves company), The Beast in Love (love tames the wild beast), The Hare and the Tortoise (slow and steady wins the race) and The Boy Who Cried Wolf (no one believes a liar). But even these stories aren’t enough to persuade Xanthus to change his mind and he orders Aesop to be thrown to the lions. But the Lion charging Aesop is the same one Aesop met in the forest and instead of devouring Aesop, he licks his hand in gratitude. Xanthus is dumbfounded; Aesop explains how he helped the Lion and Xanthus finally recognizes that Aesop has been trying to help him as well. In gratitude he frees Aesop, who stays on to become storyteller to Xanthus, guaranteeing that the memory of Calliope will live on.