Short Stories for kids are, perhaps, the best way to teach life lessons to children. You can teach them the values and morals in a very easy manner.
During the storytime at home, you can come up with some short stories for kids to enjoy the storyline while also learning a lesson or two.
Table of Contents
1. THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE
A tortoise one day met a hare who made fun of her. “My, my, you move so slowly, you will never get far!”. The tortoises, upset by the hare’s manner, said,
“Let’s have a race and see who is faster.”
The hare laughed and said, “You must be joking! But all right, we’ll see who reaches the other side of the hill first.” Off he ran, leaving the tortoise far behind.
After a while, the hare stopped to wait for the tortoise to come long. He waited and waited until he felt sleepy. “I might as well take a nap,” he thought. “Even if she catches up with me, I can easily win the race.” So he lay down under a shady tree and closed his eyes.
When the tortoise passed the sleeping hare, she walked on slowly but steadily. By the time the hare woke up, the tortoise was near the finishing line. He ran as fast as he could, but he could not catch up with the tortoise.
MORAL: Slow and the steady wins the race.
2. THE BOY WHO CRIED ‘WOLF’
Once there was a shepherd boy who had to look after a flock of sheep. One day, he felt bored and decided to play a trick on the villagers. He shouted, “Help! Wolf! Wolf!”. The villagers heard his cries and rushed out of the village to help the shepherd boy.
When they reached him, they asked, “Where is the wolf? The shepherd boy laughed loudly, “Ha, Ha, Ha! I fooled all of you. I was only playing a trick on you.”
A few days later, the shepherd boy played this trick again. Again he cried, “Help! Help! Wolf! Wolf!” Again, the villagers rushed up the hill to help him and again they found that the boy had tricked them. They were very angry with him for being so naughty.
Then, sometime later, a wolf went into the field. The wolf attacked one sheep, and then another and another. The shepherd boy ran towards the village shouting, “Help! Help! Wolf! Help! Somebody!”.
The villagers heard his cries but they laughed because they thought it was another trick. The boy ran to the nearest villager and said, “A wolf is attacking the sheep. I lied before, but this time it is true!”. Finally, the villagers went to look. It was true. They could see the wolf running away and many dead sheep lying on the grass.
MORAL: We may not believe someone who often tells lies, even when he tells the truth.
3. DON’T CHANGE THE WORLD
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country. One day, he went for a trip to some distant areas of his country. When he was back to his palace, he complained that his feet were very painful, because it was the first time that he went for such a long trip, and the road that he
went through was very rough and stony.
He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather. Definitely, this would need thousands of cows’ skin and would cost a
huge amount of money. Then one of his wise servants dared himself to tell the king, “Why do you have to spend that unnecessary amount of money? Why don’t you just cut a little piece of leather to cover your feet?”
The king was surprised, but he later agreed to his suggestion, to make a “shoe” for himself.
MORAL: There is actually a valuable lesson of life in this story: to make this world a happy place to live, you better change yourself – your heart; and not the world.
4. THE FARMER AND THE STORK
Finding that cranes were destroying his newly sown corn, a farmer one evening set a net in his field to catch the destructive birds. When he went to examine the net next morning he found a number of cranes and also a stork.
“Release me, I beseech you,” cried the stork, “for I have eaten none of your corn, nor have I done you any harm. I am a poor innocent stork,
as you may see – a most dutiful bird, I honor my father and mother. I…”.
But the farmer cut him short. “All this may be true enough, I dare say, but I have caught you with those were destroying my crops, and you
must suffer from the company in which you are found.”
MORAL: People are judged by the company they keep.
5. THE MONKEY AND THE DOLPHIN
One day long ago, some sailors set out to sea in their sailing ship. One of them brought his pet monkey along for the long journey. When they were far out at sea, a terrible storm overturned their ship. Everyone fell into the sea, and the monkey was sure that he would drown.
Suddenly a dolphin appeared and picked him up. They soon reached the island and the monkey came down from the dolphin’s back. The dolphin asked the monkey, “Do you know this place?”. The monkey replied, “Yes, I do. In fact, the king of the island is my best friend. Do you know that I am actually a prince?”
Knowing that no one lived on the island, the dolphin said, “Well, well, so you are a prince! Now you can be a king!”. The monkey asked, “How can I be a king?”. As the dolphin started swimming away, he answered, “That is easy. As you are the only creature on this island, you will naturally be the king!”.
MORAL: Those who lie and boast may end up in trouble.
6. THE FOX AND THE STORK
A selfish fox once invited a stork to dinner at his home in a hollow tree. That evening, the stork flew to the fox’s home and knocked on the door with her long beak. The fox opened the door and said, “Please come in and share my food.” The stork was invited to sit down at the table. She was very hungry and the food smelled delicious!
The fox served soup in shallow bowls and he licked up all his soup very quickly. However, the stork could not have any of it as the bowl was too shallow for her long beak. The poor stork just smiled politely and stayed hungry. The selfish fox asked, “Stork, why haven’t you taken your soup? Don’t you like it?”
The stork replied, “It was very kind of you to invite me for dinner. Tomorrow evening, please join me for dinner at my home.” The next day, when the fox arrived at the stork’s home, he saw that they were also having soup for dinner. This time the soup was served in tall jugs.
The stork drank the soup easily but the fox could not reach inside the tall jug. This time it was his turn to go hungry.
MORAL: A selfish act can backfire on you.
7. THE THIRSTY CROW
One hot day, a thirsty crow flew all over the fields looking for water. For a long time, she could not find any. She felt very weak, almost giving up hope.
Suddenly, she saw a water jug below her. She flew straight down to see if there was any water inside. Yes, she could see some water inside the jug!
The crow tried to push her head into the jug. Sadly, she found that the neck of the jug was too narrow. Then she tried to push the jug down for the water to flow out. She found that the jug was too heavy.
The crow thought hard for a while. Then looking around her, she saw some pebbles. She suddenly had a good idea. She started picking up the pebbles one by one, dropping each into the jug.
As more and more pebbles filled the jug, the water level kept rising. Soon it was high enough for the crow to drink. Her plan had worked!
MORAL: If you try hard enough, you may soon find an answer to your problem.
8. THE MILKMAID
A milkmaid was on her way to the market to sell some milk from her cow. As she carried the large jug of milk on top of her head, she began to dream of all the things she could do after selling the milk.
“With that money, I’ll buy a hundred chicks to rear in my backyard. When they are fully grown. I can sell them at a good price at the market.” As she walked on, she continued dreaming, “Then I’ll buy two young goats and rear them on the grass close by.
When they are fully grown, I can sell them at an even better price!” Still dreaming, she said to herself, “Soon, I’ll be able to buy another cow, and I will have more milk to sell. Then I shall have even more money…”
With these happy thoughts, she began to skip and jump. Suddenly she tripped and fell. The jug broke and all the milk spilled onto the ground. No more dreaming now, she sat down and cried.
MORAL: Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.
9. THE WOLF AND THE LAMB
A lamb was grazing with a flock of sheep one day. She soon found some sweet grass at the edge of the field. Farther and farther she went,
away from the others. She was enjoying herself so much that she did not notice a wolf coming nearer to her.
However, when it pounced on her, she was quick to start pleading, “Please, please don’t eat me yet. My stomach is full of grass. If you wait a while, I will taste much better.”
The wolf thought that was a good idea, so he sat down and waited. After a while, the lamb said, “If you allow me to dance, the grass in my stomach will be digested faster.” Again the wolf agreed.
While the lamb was dancing, she had a new idea. She said, “Please take the bell from around my neck. If you ring it as hard as you
can, I will be able to dance even faster.”
The wolf took the bell and rang it as hard as he could. The shepherd heard the bell ringing and quickly sent his dogs to find the missing lamb. The barking dogs frightened the wolf away and saved the lamb’s life.
MORAL: The gentle and weak can sometimes be cleverer than fierce and strong.
10. THE ANT AND THE DOVE
One hot day, an ant was searching for some water. After walking around for some time, she came to a spring. To reach the spring, she had to climb up a blade of grass.
While making her way up, she slipped and fell into the water. She could have drowned if a dove up a nearby tree had not seen her. Seeing that the ant was in trouble, the dove quickly plucked off a leaf and dropped it into the water near the
The ant moved towards the leaf and climbed up there. Soon it carried her safely to dry ground. Just at that time, a hunter nearby was throwing out his net towards the dove, hoping to trap it.
Guessing what he was about to do, the ant quickly bit him on the heel. Feeling the pain, the hunter dropped his net. The dove was quick to fly away to safety.
MORAL: One good turn deserves another.
11. THE OBSTACLE IN OUR PATH
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.
Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side
of the road.
After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.
The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand.
MORAL: Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one’s condition.
12. THE WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING
A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep.
The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing; so, leading the
Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and for some time succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals.
MORAL: Appearances are deceptive.
13. WORDS AND ACTIONS SHOULD BE THE SAME
There once was a boy who loved eating sweets. He always asked for sweets from his father. His father was a poor man. He could not always afford sweets for his son. But the little boy did not understand this and demanded sweets all the time.
The boy’s father thought hard about how to stop the child asking for so many sweets. There was a very holy man living nearby at that time. The boy’s father had an idea. He decided to take the boy to the great man who might be able to persuade the child to stop asking for sweets all the time.
The boy and his father went along to the great man. The father said to him, “O great saint, could you ask my son to stop asking for sweets which I cannot afford?” The great man was in difficulty because he liked sweets himself. How could he ask the boy to give up asking for sweets?
The holy man told the father to bring his son back after one month. During that month, the holy man gave up eating sweets, and when the boy and his father returned after a month, the holy man said to the boy “My dear child, will you stop asking for sweets which your father cannot afford to give you?”
From then on, the boy stopped asking for sweets. The boy’s father asked the saint, “Why did you not ask my son to give up asking for sweets when we came to you a month ago?” The saint replied, “How could I ask a boy to give up sweets when I loved sweets myself.
In the last month, I gave up eating sweets.” A person’s example is much more powerful than just his words. When we ask someone to do something, we must do it ourselves also. We should not ask others to do what we do not do ourselves.
MORAL: Always make sure that your actions and your words are the same.
14. THE CLEVER BOY
A man with his donkey carrying two sacks of wheat was on his way to the market. After a little while, he was tired and they rested under a tree.
When he woke up from his nap he could not see the donkey and started searching for the donkey everywhere.
On the way he met a boy, he asked the boy, “Have you seen my donkey?” The boy asked, “Is the donkey’s left eye blind, his right foot lame and is he carrying a load of wheat?” The man was happy and said, “Yes, exactly! Where have you seen it?” the boy answered, “I haven’t seen it.”
This made the man very angry and he took the boy to the village chief for punishment. The judge asked, “Dear boy if you had not seen at the donkey, how
could you describe it?” The boy answered, “I saw the tracks of a donkey and the right and left tracks were different from this I understood that
the donkey that passed there was limping.
And the grass on the right side of the road was eaten but the grass on the left was not. From that, I understood that his left eye was blind. There were wheat seeds scattered on the ground and I understood that he must have been carrying a load of wheat.
The judge understood the boy’s cleverness and told the man to forgive the boy.
MORAL: This story teaches us that we should not be quick to judge the people.
15. THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER
One cold, frosty day in the middle of winter a colony of ants was busy drying out some, grains of corn, which had grown damp during the wet autumn weather.
A grasshopper half dead with cold and hunger came up to one of the ants. “Please give me a grail or two from your store of corn to save my life,” he said faintly.
“We worked day and night to get this corn in. Why should I give it to you?” asked the ant crossly. “Whatever were you doing all last summer when you
should have been gathering your food?”
Oh, I didn’t have time for things like that, said the grasshopper. “I was far too busy singing to carry corn about.” The ant laughed me unkindly. “In that case, you can sing all winter as far as I am concerned,” he said.
And without another word, he turned back to his work.
MORAL: we must work hard and not rely on the kindness of others for our daily needs.
16. THE FOX WHO GOT CAUGHT IN THE TREE TRUNK
Once upon a time, there was a hungry fox that was looking for something to eat. He was very hungry. No matter how hard he tried, the fox could not find food. Finally, he went to the edge of the forest and searched there for the food.
Suddenly he caught sight of a big tree with a hole in it. Inside the hole was a package. The hungry fox immediately thought that there might be food in it,
and he became very happy. He jumped into the hole and when he opened the package, he saw there was a lot of food, bread, meat, and fruit in it!
An old woodcutter had placed the food in the tree trunk while he cut down trees in the forest. He was going to eat it for lunch. The fox happily began to eat. After the fox had finished eating, he felt thirsty and decided to leave the trunk and drink some water from a nearby spring.
However, no matter how hard he tried, he could not get out of the hole. Do you know why? Yes, the fox had eaten so much food that he became too big to fit through the hole.
The fox was very sad and upset. He told himself, “I wish that I had thought a little before jumping into the hole.”
MORAL: Yes children, this is the result of doing something without thinking about it first.
17. THE SELFISH MAN
Once upon a time, there was a selfish man. He liked everything to be his own. He could not share his belongings with anyone, not even his friends or the poor. One day, the man lost thirty gold coins. He went to his friend’s house and told him how he lost his gold coins.
His friend was a kind man. As his friend’s daughter was coming from an errand she found thirty gold coins, when she arrived home, she told her father what she had found. The girl’s father told her that the gold coins belong to his friend and he sent for him.
When the selfish man arrived, he told him how his daughter had found his thirty gold coins and handed them to him. After counting the gold coins the man said that ten of them were missing and had been taken by the girl as he had forty gold coins.
He further commented that he will recover the remaining amount from him. But the girl’s father refused. The man left the gold coins and went to the court and informed the judge there about what had taken place between him and the girl’s father.
The judge sent for the girl and her father, and when they arrived asked the girl how many gold coins did she find. She replied thirty gold coins. The Judge asked the selfish man how many gold coins did he lose and he answered forty gold coins.
The judge then told the man that the gold coins did not belong to him because the girl found thirty and not forty as he claimed to have lost and then told the girl to take the gold coins and that if anybody is looking for them he will send for the girl.
The judge told the man that if anybody reports that they have found forty gold coins he will send for him. It was then that the man confessed that he lied and that he lost thirty gold coins but the judge did not listen to him.
MORAL: This story teaches us to be always honest as dishonest never pays.
18. THE ROSE WITHIN
A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully and before it blossomed, he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom but noticed thorns upon the stem and he thought, “How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?” Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and just before it was ready to bloom… it died.
So it is with many people. Within every soul, there is a rose. The good qualities planted in us at birth, grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects.
We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually, it dies. Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them.
One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns of another and find the rose within them. This is one of the characteristics of love… to look at a person, know their true faults and accepting that person into your life… all the while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help others to realize they can overcome their faults.
If we show them the “rose” within themselves, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.
MORAL: The most favorable friend to me is that who shows me my flaws.
19. SAND AND STONE
A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. At some point in the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED
ME IN THE FACE.”
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one, who had been slapped, got stuck in the mire and
started drowning, but the friend saved him. After the friend recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST
FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.”
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
MORAL: Learn to write your hurts in the sand, and to carve your benefits in stone.
20. BE PATIENT
A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint of the truck. The man ran to his son, knocked him away, and hammered the little boy’s hands into pulp as punishment.
When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital. Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate fingers from boy’s both hands.
When the boy woke up from the surgery and saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, “Daddy, I’m sorry about your truck.” Then he asked, “But when are my fingers going to grow back?”
The father went home and committed suicide. Think about this story the next time someone steps on your feet or you wish to take revenge.
Think first before you lose your patience with someone u love.
Trucks can be repaired. Broken bones and hurt feelings often can’t. Too often we fail to recognize the difference between the person and the performance. We forget that forgiveness is greater than revenge.
MORAL: One who cannot benefit by patience will die of grief and excitement.
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Have a good bedtime sleep…