(10/3/01 12:17:30 pm)
| fable v. parable|
For these distinctions I find it useful go to the Oxford dictionary. It defines a parable as "A fictious narrative (usually of something that might naturally occur), by which moral or spiritual relations are typically set forth, as the parables of the New Testament. An alternate definition is "any saying or narrations in which something is expressed in terms of something else, an allegory, an apologue."
A fable is defined as "A narrative or statement not founded on fact", or alterternatively, a short story devised to convey some useful lesson; an apologue."
There, you see there is some overlap in definition. A parable is probably always a fable, but unless a fable tells a tale that speaks of spiritual or moral relations, it is not a parable.
Hope this helps. Now let the experts help you with examples and distinctions.