While the subject matter tends to be very different from one to another, as a whole it is clear to me that this is a collection of fables. Rather than a moral, each story (including the introduction) contains a warning of one kind or another. Some are cautionary tales, while others show the value of hope.
I’ll admit that a couple of the stories may have been darker than I prefer, but there is not one poorly written story in the collection. Whether heartening or haunting each was evocative and worth reading once, some I will read again and again.