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Arabic literature does not have a corresponding terminology for the ancient Greek concept of fables, originally comprising tales with animal and vegetal as well as human protagonists. The nearest terms are mathal, here generally denoting parables and instructive sayings (see also proverbs), hikāyāt al-hayawān (animal tales), and the more specific amthāl/nawādir 'alā alsinat al-hayawān (roughly: 'parables involving talking animals').