In its strict sense a fable is a short story or folk tale with a moral at the end. It often, but not necessarily, makes metaphorical use of an animal as its central character. In some cases usage the term has been extended to include stories with mythical or legendary elements. An author of fables is a fabulist. The word fabulous strictly means pertaining to fables, although in recent decades its metaphorical meanings have been taken to be literal meanings.