Top 20 Short Stories with Moral for Children

Short Stories with Moral:

Children love stories and we always had our elders to tell us some amazing stories. Since a home is the first school for every child, One can inculcate some healthy values and morals in children with the help of some interesting stories.

We have curated some very interesting short stories for children. Build some amazing memories for your little ones by reading it to them.

Indian short stories:

Mitra Sharma and the Goat:

There was once a Man named Mitra Sharma who received a fat and plumpy goat as a Gift from the villagers. He was very happy, he carried the goat on his shoulders and wanted to head home before dark. There were three notorious thieves who wanted to steal the goat from Mitra Sharma and they plotted a clever plan.

While the Mitra Sharma was walking home the first thief went up to him and questioned why he was carrying a dog on his shoulders? Mitra Sharma was agitated and retorted back saying that he is indeed carrying a goat and not a dog.  He walked a little ahead when he encountered the second thief. The second thief again questioned  Mitra Sharma on why he was carrying a dog on his shoulders.

Now Mitra Sharma was confused he looked at the goat and thought if it was indeed a dog. He shrugged and walked a little ahead when he met the third thief who again asked him the same question.

Mitra Sharma now was sure that he was carrying a dog on his shoulders and not a Goat. He flung the goat onto the ground and hurried home. The three thieves got together and stole the goat from Mitra Sharma.

Moral: Trust Oneself before you trust others.

The Lion, The Jackal, and The Cave:

There was once a very hungry Lion in the forest who was looking for food for many days and could find none. He thought he might die of starvation when he found a cave while searching for a place to rest at the end of the day. The Lion realized that someone was using the cave and he waited for his prey to return home.

The cave was home to the Jackal who saw footprints of a lion near his cave. When the Jackal closely examined he saw the Footprints of the Lion entering the cave but none coming out from the cave. The Jackal wanted to be sure if the Lion was still inside his cave.

So the Jackal called out to his cave and asked him how his day was? The Lion was very excited about hearing the Jackal near the cave. The lion was waiting for the Jackal to enter the cave so he can eat him up. So when he heard the Jackal speak to the cave he responded that his day was good.

Hearing the Lion speak the Jackal realized that the lion was still inside and he ran away and vowed to never return back.

Moral: To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Birbal, The Just:

Birbal was a minister in the court of the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was often called upon to dispense Justice. Once a rich merchant met Birbal and exclaimed that he lost his bag of money and wanted Birbal to help him find the thief.

The rich merchant thought that one of his servants might be the thief since no outsider entered his home. Since he was not sure about it he wanted Birbal to help him find the thief.

Birbal met all the servants and showed them his magic sticks. He exclaimed that the sticks had the power to grow an inch taller when it was touched by the thief. He gave each of the servants a stick and asked them to meet him the next day.

Next morning the servants were brought before Birbal and the sticks were measured. One stick was shorter by an inch. That man is the thief exclaimed Birbal and was put in Jail.

The rich merchant got back his lost money and Justice was rendered.


Birbals Khichdi:

During one cold winter morning Akbar, Birbal, and his courtier’s were on their way to the Palace when they stopped to wet their feet in the Lake. Akbar realized that the water was too cold and stepped out of it quickly. An idea struck him and he declared that if anyone from his kingdom can stay overnight in the lake neck deep he would gift them 50,000 gold coins.

Hearing this an elderly gentleman came forward accepting the challenge since he wanted the money for his family. He stayed in the water overnight just by looking at the palace lights for warmth. Next morning when he went to the palace for his reward the courtiers realized that he spent the night looking at the palace lights. The King and courtiers decided that the elderly man should not be rewarded since he cheated by taking warmth from the palace lights.

Once Birbal understood the situation he wanted to help the elderly man, so he invited the king and his courtiers to his home for lunch. He tied the pot of Khichdi to cook on top of the tree and lit a stove at the ground. He was waiting for the food to be cooked. Seeing this the King realized his mistake and granted the elderly gentleman his reward of 50,000 gold coins.

The elderly gentleman was very grateful to the King for his generosity.

The Tiger and The Traveller:

One day a Tiger, too old to hunt was walking by a Marshy pool when he saw a gold bangle. A rather cunning idea cropped in his head. He waited near the pool for his prey.

Soon a traveler was passing on the opposite side of the bank, the Tiger spotted the man and asked him if he wanted the gold bangle. The traveler thought for a second and realized it was risky to go near the Tiger for the Gold Bangle. The Tiger convinced the man that he was too old to hunt and he should trust him since he is changed for good.

The traveler’s love of Gold overcame his natural fear of the Tiger. He waded through the water to reach the Tiger who pounced on him and ate him up.

Moral: Do not be greedy.

The Vulture, The Cat, and The Birds:

One day a blind old Vulture came to live in the hollow of a Tree, where many other birds lived. The Birds held a hurried conference to discuss if they can allow the Vulture to stay with them and share their food. After hours of discussion, they came to the conclusion that they should allow the vulture to stay with them since he was old, blind and needed help.

The vulture was very grateful and vowed to take care of their little fledglings when the older birds went to gather food. The Vulture got along well with the other birds and took care of their little ones in return for food and shelter.

A cat happened to pass that way and noticed the nests and young ones. He was very happy and befriended the vulture who allowed the cat to stay with him.

The cat took this opportunity and day after day he stole some of the little birds and devoured them in the hollow of the tree. The birds flew hither-thither in search of their baby birds and thought that it must be the work of the Vulture.

When they saw the bones and feather of their little ones in the hollow of the Vultures nest, they pecked the Vulture to death.

The Vulture died a sorry death whose only fault was that he treated a cat as a friend whom he hardly knew.

The Merchant’s Son and the Iron Balance:

In a certain town, there lived a merchant called Ram. He lost all his money in his business and decided to move to the next town in search of livelihood. Before leaving he met his good friend and asked him to keep his iron balance with him.

Ram set out in his Journey and did well in his new work. He returned to his village after two years and went to his friend’s house for his Iron balance. The friend denied Ram his balance and told him that the mice ate them up. Ram was silent and realized that his friend was cheating him. He wanted to teach him a lesson.

Ram took his friends son home on the pretext of buying him, sweets. He locked him up in his home and returned to his friend to inform him that a flamingo had taken his son away.

Ram’s friend was furious he went to the King for Justice and informed him about his missing son. The king heard him and questioned Ram who exclaimed that if mice can eat up an iron balance so can the flamingos fly away with a little boy.

The King realized and ordered Ram’s friend to return the  Iron Balance in return for his son.

Moral: Choose your friends wisely.

The Heron and The Crab:

An old Heron lived in a Jungle near a big lake which was full of Fishes, Crabs, and other water animals. The Heron was getting old and finding it difficult to hunt for his prey. He planned a way to capture the fish with ease. One day he sat near the Lake and wept miserably, He exclaimed that the river would dry up and all the fishes will die since they cannot fly to a safer place with plenty of water.

All the fishes and other water animals panicked upon hearing about the drying of the Lake. They quickly went to the Heron for advice and approached him for help. The cunning Heron then said that he will be glad to carry each of the fish on his back to another lake for safety.

The fishes agreed and the Heron would carry each fish on his back to another lake. Now it was the turn of the Crab who was happy to ride to safety. When he was halfway through the ride he saw dead fish bones on the ground and realized what the cunning Heron was up to. When the Heron wanted to crash the crab against the rock to kill him the crab squeezed the neck of the Heron with his strong claws and killed him.

Moral: Do not trust someone blindly.


The Jackal who fell into a Vat of Indigo Dye:

Once a Jackal got so hungry that he ventured into a town in search of Food. When he saw that the village dogs were after him he ran into a dyers yard to save himself. By accident, he fell into a Vat of Indigo dye. He came out all blue. The dogs did not recognize him and fled.

The Jackal went back to his Jungle. Rumors fled far and wide in the Jungle about a Blue colored animal which looks like a Jackal. The Jackal realized the folly of the other animals and made use of the situation. He proclaimed that he had magical powers and he had the gift from God to cure all illness.

All the forest animals went to the blue Jackal for help and took some yummy and delicious forest food for him. The Blue Jackal had a field time until it rained heavily and his blue dye got washed away. The forest animals realized that he was just an ordinary Jackal and shooed him away from the Jungle.

Moral: A coat of paint cannot hide one’s true colors.

The Lion and the Hare:

In a certain Jungle, there lived a Lion who was very strong and killed other animals in the Jungle just for fun. The other animals were scared of him and scurried away at the site of him. One day all the surviving animals approached the Lion and requested him to not kill animals

They suggested that each day when one of them can approach him to satisfy his hunger. The Lion agreed and they came to the conclusion that if they failed to show up he would kill all of them. So all the animals took turns over the next few days.

It was the turn of the Hare and he thought of a brilliant idea. He delayed meeting the lion for a long time. When he met him he complained about the Lion in the well who wanted to kill him instead.

Angered by this the Lion approached the well and dived into the well to kill his own reflection.

Moral: Nothing is impossible for a clever man.

The Cobra and the Crow:

Once there lived a pair of crows on an old tree. In the hollow of the same tree, there lived a wicked cobra. Each time the crow lays eggs the cobra would eat them all up. The crows were not sure on how to confront the cobra and hence they approached the friendly Jackal for help.

According to the Jackals plan, the crows flew over a lake where the queen and her maids were bathing. They had left their precious jewelry and clothes on the bank of the Lake. The female crow swooped down and picked up the gold necklace and flew off to drop it in the hollow of the tree where the Snake lived. The Queens guards armed with huge sticks and axes located the necklace along with the Snake. They killed the Snake and recovered the necklace.

The Crows lived happily ever after.

Moral: Mighty brawn is no match for the nimble brain.

The Golden Fish and the Demon:

There once lived a fisherman with his wife in a village by the river. When he went fishing he chanced upon a golden fish in his net. The golden fish pleaded to let him go into the river and granted that he would fulfill all the fisherman’s wishes. The fisherman was very happy and asked for firewood to cook food with but he was not sure if the Golden fish can really fulfill wishes. He hurried home to see his courtyard filled with firewood.

His wife then exclaimed if the Golden fish can grant them some food to eat as well. The fisherman again went back to the river and asked the fish for food. The Golden fish granted him his wish and his house was filled with huge loads of food grains to last for a long time.

Now the fisherman and his wife became greedy and asked for Gold and the Golden fish granted them the same. The fisherman’s home was filled with Gold and now he was afraid of thieves stealing his gold. He rushed back to the river and asked the fish to send someone who will not allow anyone to come near the gold or steal them. The fish turned his wife into a demon who lived all alone for the rest of her life guarding her gold.

Moral: Be content with what you have. Greed is not a virtue.

The Midas touch:

The Midas touch is an Idiom which defines the uncanny ability for making money in any venture.

King Midas was once granted a boon for his good deeds that everything he touches would turn to Gold. The King was very happy, he realized that his touch turned everything to Gold. His happiness though was very shortlived since when it was time to eat food it turned to Gold.

He became sad and hungry. When his little daughter rushed to him, he hugged her and she turned to Gold. Midas realized his folly and requested for his boon to be taken back.

Moral: Greed is not a virtue.

Aesops fables:

The Fox and the Grapes:

There was once a Fox who ventured into a Village and came across a Grape garden. He was very happy and wanted some of the Grapes. The Grapes vines were higher and the fox could not reach them.

He tried for the whole day jumping up and down for the grapes but he could not reach them.

Alas! he gave up exclaiming that the grapes were sour.

Moral: It is easy to despise what you do not have, Work hard and you will achieve the success you deserve.


The Hare and the Tortoise:

There was once a race between a Hare and a Tortoise. The Hare was known for its speed, he could hop, skip and Jump and reach his destination with ease. The Tortoise was known for being slow.

When the race began the Hare ran really fast but took a nap under the shade of the tree midway since he felt that the tortoise was really slow and he can never reach the winning point.

The Tortoise never gave up and he plodded slow and steady. When the Tortoise was nearing the winning point the Hare woke up from his sleep but could not catch up with the Hare.

Thus the Tortoise won the race against all odds.

Moral: Slow and Steady wins the race.

The Fox and the Stork:

A Fox and a Stork were good friends. One day the Fox invited the Stork home and gave him soup in a shallow bowl. The Fox lapped up the soup happily but the Stork was only able to wet the tips of his beak. He went home hungry. The following day the Stork invited the Fox to dinner and served him food in a Jar with a very narrow mouth.


The Fox was unable to eat his food and left hungry. The Fox realized his folly.

Moral: One bad turn deserves another.

The Trees and the Axe:

There was once a woodcutter who was looking for some good quality wood to make a handle for his axe. He searched the length and breadth of the Jungle for it. Then he came across some old Cedar trees. He requested for some wood which the old trees agreed and allowed him to fell a young ash tree.

Once the woodcutter had his wood to fit into the metal axe he chopped down all the older giant trees in a few hours. One of the older Cedar trees sighed that they should not have yielded and given away the rights of the young ash tree.

Moral: In yielding to the rights of others we endanger our own.


The Shepherd’s Boy:

There once lived a very young Shepherd’s boy near the edge of a very big Forest. He would take his Sheep to the Forest every morning and allow them to graze. He brought them back before sunset and kept track of each one of his Sheep.


One day when he was feeling rather lonely in the Forest he cried out for help from a wolf attacking his Sheep. The Villagers came running to his rescue but they realized that the Shepherd boy was only pranking them and there was no danger.

The next day when the Wolf really came and attacked all his Sheep, No one came to the rescue of the Shepherds boy. The Villagers thought that he was pranking them again. The Shepherd-boy lost all his Sheep and came home crying.

Moral: A Liar will not be believed even if he tells the truth.


The Ant and the Grasshopper:

There once lived a Grasshopper who spent his time singing and dancing in the woods. It was Summertime and he had plenty of food. The Grasshopper did not think of saving food for the winters. There also lived a colony of ants in the same forest. They were tirelessly storing food for the winters during summer time.

(Pic courtesy: freepik)

Winter was nearing and the leaves were shedding and food was becoming rare for all the animals in the forest. The Ants had stored enough food which would last them the entire cold season. The Ants comfortably settled down in their homes without worrying. Whereas the Grasshopper saved none and he did not find food in the bitter cold.

(Picture courtesy: freepik)

The Grasshopper was dying of hunger when he knocked on the doors of the Ants for food. The Ants shared part of their food to the Grasshopper and saved him.

Moral: It is best to be prepared for any kind of Adversity.

The Goose which Laid the Golden Eggs:

Once lived a poor farmer who found a golden egg in his farm. He was surprised and happy at his find. The next day he sold it in the market and made a lot of money. The next day he found one more golden egg, his joy knew no bounds. He again sold it in the market to make more money.

He realized that the Goose from his farm laid one golden egg each day. In the next few days, he collected one golden egg each day. He was happy but greed took over. He became restless and wanted all the golden eggs at the same time.

He cut open the goose for all the eggs but found none. He lost his Goose to greed.

Moral: Greed is not a virtue.

Please check here for some reading gifts for children aged 4 to 8.

Read these stories with your children and let us know in the comments below if you would like to hear more.

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