Q. 1. What is a parable? Is it just a story?
A. 1. In summary, a parable is a short story based on a familiar life experience used to teach a spiritual lesson.
In greater detail, a parable is a comparison, or a parallel, by which one thing is used to illustrate another. It is a likeness taken from the sphere of real, or sensible, or earthly incidents, in order to convey an ideal, or spiritual, or heavenly meaning. As uttering one thing and signifying something else, it is in the nature of a riddle and has therefore a light and a dark side, it is intended to stir curiosity and calls for intelligence in the listener. [Source: Catholic Encyclopedia.]
A parable is a deliberate "making up" of a story in which some lesson is at once given and concealed.