A proverb is like a mini parable, and the proverbs below refer to such moral stories.
The word 'parable' comes from the Greek parabole, meaning 'comparison', which is also the root of the Italian and French parlare and parler, meaning 'to speak'.
However, a parable is more than just a tale. A parable is a story about an event, real or fictitious, and at the same time offers a moral lesson for people who may encounter comparable events in real life.
Fables, such as those found within Grimms' Fairy Tales, have a similar role but do not usually command the higher ethical significance of parables. Fables usually include supernatural elements where animals are used as characters speaking and acting like human beings. The parable, on the other hand, usually uses humans as characters. In a fable, the camel would pass through the eye of a needle, but not as a means to reach heaven. (See Matt. 19:23-24, Mark 10:24-25 and Luke 18:24-25)
The existence of parables in the Bible a useful to counter those who claim that the Bible is fiction. \"Yes indeed, the Bible does contain fiction; for example, the parable about ...\" followed by the speaker's preferred parable.