Have you heard of Jean de La Fontaine‘s Fables? He used animals to depict various characters and everyday situations and draw a moral story from it all. I had to memorise quite a few of them when I was at school, and I wonder whether they’re still part of the French curriculum. Xavier sent me this amusing "modern fable with a twist", snapped in Paddington and which reminds me of La Cigale et la Fourmi. I wonder what La Fontaine would have thought of it.
Once upon a time there was a Bear and a Bee
Who lived in a wood and were the best of friends.
All summer long the Bee collected nectar from morning to night
While the Bear lay on his back basking in the long grass.
When the winter came the Bear realized he had nothing to eat
And thought to himself:
"I hope that busy little Bee
Will share some of his honey with me".
But the Bee was nowhere to be found
He had died of a stress induced coronary disease.

Check out this great site with English translations of lots of the fables.
A lot of La Fontaine’s verses have become common expressions in French:
Rien ne sert de courir ; il faut partir à point.
Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras.
La méfiance est mère de la sûreté.
Tout flatteur vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute.
Il ne faut jamais vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué.

(Can someone with more time and talent than me help with the translation?)