20 Must-Read Short Moral Stories for Kids

Top 20 Short Moral Stories for Kids

In today’s age of busy schedules and omnipresent technology, we have given in and let our children be entertained by the internet. However, there’s nothing like spending a little quality time with your little one, narrating stories and imparting some wisdom along the way. You could tell your child a story with moral values that are similar to yours, allowing them to imbibe good habits and morals in an interesting way.

Video: Short Moral Stories for Kids – Part 1

Fun and Entertaining Short Moral Stories for Your Children

1. The Needle Tree

The Needle Tree story

There were once two brothers who lived at the edge of a forest. The elder brother was very mean to the younger brother – he would eat up all the food and steal his good clothes. One day, the elder brother went into the forest to find some firewood to sell in the market. As he went around, chopping tree after tree, he stumbled upon a magical tree. The tree said to him, “Oh kind sir, please do not cut my branches. If you spare me, I will give you golden apples”. The elder brother agreed at first, but was left disappointed with the number of apples the tree gave him. Greed overcame him, and he threatened to cut the entire trunk if the tree didn’t give him more apples. The magical tree, instead, showered upon the elder brother, hundreds upon hundreds of tiny needles. The elder brother lay on the ground, crying in pain, as the sun began to lower down the horizon.

The younger brother grew worried and went in search of his elder brother. He found him lying in pain near the tree, with hundreds of needles on his body. He rushed to his brother and removed each needle, lovingly and gently. After he finished, the elder brother apologised for treating him badly and promised to be better. The tree saw the change in the elder brother’s heart and gave them all the golden apples they could ever need.

Moral of the Story

It is important to be kind and gracious, as it will always be rewarded.

2. Counting Wisely

Counting Wisely story

Akbar once put forth a question to his court that left everyone puzzled. As they all tried to figure out the answer, Birbal walked in and asked what the matter was. They repeated the question to him.

“How many crows are there in the city?”

Birbal immediately smiled, went up to Akbar, and announced that the answer to his questions was twenty-one thousand, five hundred and twenty-three. When asked how he knew the answer, Birbal replied, “Ask your men to count the number of crows. If there are more, then the crows’ relatives from outside the city are visiting them. If there are fewer, then the crows are visiting their relatives outside the city.” Pleased with the answer, Akbar presented Birbal with a ruby and pearl chain.

Moral of the Story

Having an explanation for your answer is just as important as having an answer.

3. The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Boy Who Cried Wolf story

There was once a boy whose father one day told him that he was old enough to watch over the sheep while they were grazing. Every day, he had to take the sheep to the grassy fields and watch them as they grazed to become strong with thick wool. However, the boy was unhappy. He wanted to run and play, not watch the boring sheep. So, he decided to have some fun. He cried, “Wolf! Wolf!” until the entire village came running with stones to chase away the wolf before it could eat any of the sheep. Once they saw that there was no wolf, they left muttering under their breath about how the boy was wasting their time and giving them a good fright. The next day, the boy cried once more, “Wolf! Wolf!” and, again, the villagers rushed there to chase the wolf away.

As the boy laughed at the fright he had caused, the villagers left, some angrier than the others. The third day, as the boy went up the small hill, he suddenly saw a wolf attacking his sheep. He cried as hard as he could, “Wolf! Wolf! WOLF!”, but the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again and did not come to rescue the sheep. The little boy lost many sheep that day, all because he falsely cried wolf.

Moral of the Story

It is difficult to trust people who lie, so it’s important to always be truthful.

4. The Golden Touch

The Golden Touch story

This is the story of a very greedy, rich man who loved gold and all things fancy, but he loved his daughter more. One day, he chanced upon a fairy. The fairy’s hair was caught in a few tree branches. Realising he had an opportunity to become richer, he asked for a wish in return for helping the fairy. He said, “All that I touch should turn to gold”, and his wish was granted by the grateful fairy.

The greedy man rushed home to tell his wife and daughter about his new boon, all the while touching stones and pebbles and converting them into gold. Once he got home, his daughter rushed to greet him. As soon as he bent down to scoop her up in his arms, she turned into a gold statue. He was devastated, and he started crying and trying to bring his daughter back to life. He realised his folly and spent the rest of his days searching for the fairy to take away his wish.

Moral of the Story

Greed will always lead to downfall.

5. The Milkmaid and Her Pail

The Milkmaid and Her Pail story

Patty the milkmaid had finished milking her cow and had two full pails of fresh, creamy milk. She put both pails of milk on a stick and set off to the market, to sell them. Along the way, she started to think of all the milk in her pails, and the money she would get for them.

“Once I get the money, I’ll buy a chicken,” she thought. “The chicken will lay eggs and I will get more chickens. They’ll all lay eggs, and I can sell them for more money. Then, I’ll buy the house on the hill and be the envy of everyone in the village. They’ll ask me to sell the chicken farm, but I’ll toss my head like ‘this’, and refuse”. Saying that, Patty the milkmaid tossed her head, and the pails of milk fell. The milk spilt onto the ground, and all Patty could do was cry.

Moral of the Story

Do not count your chickens before they hatch.

6. When Adversity Knocks

When Adversity Knocks story

This is a story explaining how adversity is met differently by different people. Asha’s father placed an egg, a potato, and some tea leaves in three separate vessels with boiling water. He asked Asha to keep an eye on the vessels for ten minutes. Once the ten minutes were over, he asked Asha to peel the potato, peel the egg, and strain the tea leaves. Asha was left puzzled.

Her father explained, “Each of these items was put in the same circumstance of boiling water. See how they’ve responded differently. The potato is now soft, the egg is now hard, and the tea has changed the water itself. We are all like one of these items. When adversity calls, we respond exactly the way they do. Now, are you a potato, an egg, or tea leaves?”

Moral of the Story

We can choose how to respond to a difficult situation.

7. The Proud Rose

The Proud Rose story

Once upon a time, there was a rose who was proud of its beauty. The rose had just one disappointment – it was growing next to an ugly cactus. Every day, the rose would insult the cactus on its looks while the cactus stayed quiet. All the other plants in the garden tried to stop the rose from bullying the cactus, but the rose was too swayed by its own beauty to listen.

One summer, the well in the garden grew dry, leaving no water for the plants. The rose slowly began to wilt. The rose saw a sparrow dip its beak into the cactus for some water. The rose felt ashamed for having made fun of the cactus all this time, but because it was in need, it went to ask the cactus if it could have some water. The kind cactus agreed, and they both got through summer as friends.

Moral of the Story

Never judge someone by the way they look.

8. The Tale of the Pencil

The Tale of the Pencil story

Raj was upset because he had done poorly in his English test. His grandmother sat beside him, and gave him a pencil. A puzzled Raj looked at his grandma and said he didn’t deserve a pencil after his performance in the test. His grandma explained, “You can learn many things from this pencil because it is just like you. It experiences a painful sharpening, just the way you have experienced the pain of not doing well on your test. However, it will help you be a better student. Just as all the good that comes from the pencil is from within itself, you will also find the strength to overcome this hurdle. And finally, just as this pencil will make its mark on any surface, you too shall leave your mark on anything you choose to.” Raj was immediately consoled and promised himself that he would do better.

Moral of the Story

We all have the strength to be who we wish to be.

9. The Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball story

Nasir found a crystal ball behind a banyan tree in his garden. When the tree told him it would grant him a wish, he thought hard, but could not come up with anything he wanted. So, he kept the crystal ball in his bag and waited until he could decide on his wish. Days went by without him making a wish but his best friend saw him looking at the crystal ball. He stole it from Nasir and showed it to everyone in the village. They all asked for palaces and riches and lots of gold, but could not make more than one wish. In the end, everyone was angry because no one could have everything they wanted. They became very unhappy and decided to ask Nasir for help. Nasir wished that everything would go back to how it once was before the villagers had tried to satisfy their greed. The palaces and gold vanished and the villagers grew happy and content once again.

Moral of the Story

Money and wealth do not always bring happiness.

10. Bundle of Sticks

Bundle of Sticks story

Once upon a time, three neighbours were having trouble with their crops. All three fields had crops that were wilting and infested with pests. Each day, they would try different ideas to help their crops. The first one tried using a scarecrow, the second used pesticides, and the third built a fence on his field, all to no avail. One day, the village head came by and called all three farmers. He gave them each a stick and asked them to break it. The farmers could break them easily. He then gave them a bundle of three sticks, and again, asked them to break it. This time, the farmers struggled to break the sticks. The village head said, “Together, you are stronger than when you work alone.” The farmers pooled their resources and got rid of the pests in their fields.

Moral of the Story

There is strength in unity.

11. A Glass of Milk

A Glass of Milk story

As Hari walked home after school one day, he suddenly felt faint with hunger and knew his mother would not have any food ready for him at home. He grew weaker on his way, and desperately, he went from house to house asking for food. Finally, a girl gave him a tall glass of milk. When he tried to pay her, she refused and sent him on his way. Years later, the girl, now a grown woman, fell very sick and could not find anyone who could cure her. Finally, she went to a large hospital with the city’s greatest doctor. The doctor spent months treating the woman until she was finally cured. The woman was happy but was also afraid she could not pay the bill. When the hospital handed the bill to her, she opened it to read, “Paid in full, with a glass of milk.”

Moral of the Story

A good deed never goes unrewarded.

12. The Fox and the Grapes

The Fox and the Grapes story

A fox was once very hungry and went in search of some food. He searched everywhere, but couldn’t find anything that he could eat. Finally, with his stomach rumbling, he came upon a farmer’s wall. On top of the wall were the biggest, juiciest grapes the fox had ever seen. The rich purple colour indicated to the fox that they were ready to be eaten. The fox jumped high in the air to catch the grapes in his mouth, but he missed. He tried once more, and missed again. He tried a few more times, but kept missing. Finally, the fox decided to go home all the while muttering, “I’m sure the grapes were sour anyway.”

Moral of the Story

It’s easy to hate what you can’t have.

13. The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper story

Once upon a time, there were two best friends – an ant and a grasshopper. The grasshopper liked to relax the whole day and play his guitar. The ant, however, would work hard all day. He would collect food from all corners of the garden, while the grasshopper relaxed, played his guitar, or slept. The grasshopper would tell the ant to take a break every day, but the ant would refuse and continue his work. Soon, winter came. The days and nights became cold and very few creatures went out. The grasshopper couldn’t find any food and was hungry all the time. However, the ant had enough food to last through the winter, without any worries at all.

Moral of the Story

Make hay while the sun shines.

14. The Wet Pants

The Wet Pants story

Ajay was a little boy who loved his school and schoolmates. One day, as he sat at his desk, he suddenly felt damp and realized he had wet his pants! Mortified, Ajay did not know what to do or say, as he knew everyone in the class would make fun of him for wetting his pants. He sat at his desk, praying for any kind of help. Diksha was carrying water in a jug to water the class plants. As she approached Ajay’s desk, she suddenly tripped and dumped the contents of the jug onto his lap. Everyone rushed to help Ajay. The teacher reprimanded Diksha and gave Ajay a spare set of shorts. At the end of the day, Ajay met Diksha on the bus. He asked, “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Diksha replied, “I’ve wet my pants before too.”

Moral of the Story

Help others in need.

15. The Bear and Two Friends

The Bear and Two Friends story

Two best friends were walking a lonely and dangerous path through a jungle. As the sun began to set, they grew afraid but held on to each other. Suddenly, they saw a bear in their path. One of the boys ran to the nearest tree and climbed it in a jiffy. The other boy did not know how to climb trees by himself, so he lay on the ground, pretending to be dead. The bear approached the boy on the ground and sniffed around his head. After appearing to whisper something in the boy’s ear, the bear went on its way. The boy on the tree climbed down and asked his friend what the bear had whispered in his ear. He replied, “Do not trust friends who do not care for you.”

Moral of the Story

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

16. Friends Forever

Friends Forever story

Once upon a time, there lived a mouse and a frog, who were the best of friends. Every morning, the frog would hop out of the pond to visit the mouse, who lived inside the hole of the tree. He would spend time with the mouse and go back home. One day, the frog realised that he was making too much of an effort to visit the mouse while the mouse never came to meet him at the pond. This made him angry, and he decided to make things right by forcefully taking him to his house.

When the mouse wasn’t looking, the frog tied a string to the mouse’s tail and tied the other end to his own leg, and hopped away. The mouse started getting dragged with him. Then, the frog jumped into the pond to swim. However, when he looked back, he saw that the mouse had started to drown and was struggling to breathe! The frog quickly untied the string from his tail and took him to the shore. Seeing the mouse with his eyes barely open made the frog very sad, and he immediately regretted pulling him into the pond.

Moral of the Story

Don’t take revenge because it can be harmful to you.

17. The Elephant and Her Friends

The Elephant and Her Friends storyOnce upon a time, a lone elephant made her way into a strange forest. It was new to her, and she was looking to make friends. She approached a monkey and said, “Hello, monkey! Would you like to be my friend?” The monkey said, “You are too big to swing like me, so I can’t be your friend.” The elephant then went to a rabbit and asked the same question. The rabbit said, “You are too big to fit in my burrow, so I can’t be your friend.” The elephant also went to the frog in the pond and asked the same question. The frog replied, “You are too heavy to jump as high as me, so I can’t be your friend.”

The elephant was really sad because she couldn’t make friends. Then, one day, she saw all the animals running deeper into the forest, and she asked a bear what the fuss was about. The bear said, “The lion is on the loose – they are running from him to save themselves.” The elephant went up to the lion and said, “Please don’t hurt these innocent people. Please leave them alone.” The lion scoffed and asked the elephant to move aside. Then, the elephant got angry and pushed the lion with all her might, injuring him. All the other animals came out slowly and started to rejoice about the lion’s defeat. They went to the elephant and said to her, “You are just the right size to be our friend!”

Moral of the Story

A person’s size does not determine their worth.

18. The Woodcutter and the Golden Axe

The Woodcutter and the Golden Axe story

There was once a woodcutter, working hard in the forest, getting wood to sell for some food. As he was cutting a tree, his axe accidentally fell into the river. The river was deep and was flowing really fast – he lost his axe and could not find it again. He sat at the bank of the river and wept.

While he wept, the God of the river arose and asked him what happened. The woodcutter told him the story. The God of the river offered to help him by looking for his axe. He disappeared into the river and retrieved a golden axe, but the woodcutter said it was not his. He disappeared again and came back with a silver axe, but the woodcutter said that was not his either. The God disappeared into the water again and came back with an iron axe – the woodcutter smiled and said it was his. The God was impressed with the woodcutter’s honesty and gifted him both the golden and silver axes.

Moral of the Story

Honesty is the best policy.

19. The Greedy Lion

The Greedy Lion story

On a hot day, a lion in the forest started feeling hungry. He was starting to hunt for his food when he found a hare roaming around alone. Instead of catching the hare, the lion let it go – “A small hare such as this can’t satisfy my hunger”, he said and scoffed. Then, a beautiful deer passed by and he decided to take his chances – he ran and ran behind the deer but since he was weak because of the hunger, he struggled to keep up with the deer’s speed. Tired and defeated, the lion went back to look for the hare to fill up his stomach for the time being, but it was gone. The lion was sad and remained hungry for a long time.

Moral of the Story

Greed is never a good thing.

20. The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse story

A lion was once sleeping in the jungle when a mouse started running up and down his body just for fun. This disturbed the lion’s sleep, and he woke up quite angry. He was about to eat the mouse when the mouse desperately requested the lion to set him free. “I promise you, I will be of great help to you someday if you save me.” The lion laughed at the mouse’s confidence and let him go.

One day, a few hunters came into the forest and took the lion with them. They tied him up against a tree. The lion was struggling to get out and started to whimper. Soon, the mouse walked past and noticed the lion in trouble. Quickly, he ran and gnawed on the ropes to set the lion free. Both of them sped off into the jungle.

Moral of the Story

A small act of kindness can go a long way.

Tips on Making Storytime Interesting for Your Kids

No matter how engaging a story may be, the way you recite it makes all the difference. To make sure your story is more life-like and less preachy, you can use these tips on narrating your story in a way that leaves an impact and makes storytime the favourite part of your kid’s day.

  1. Usually, the personality or character catches a child’s interest. Use different voices for each character or act out various parts from the story, to keep things fun.
  1. If you’re using books or pictures, lay them in front of your child. You can ask her to turn the pages or trace the words as you read.
  1. Talk about the story after you’ve finished reciting it. Ask your kid questions about what he/she would do, and discuss the moral of the story. This way, you will also know if your child understood what happened in the story.

These short stories with moral values will teach your children important lessons while helping you spend quality time with them. The next time you want to entertain your child, stories with morals are always a good option.

Also Read:

Moral Stories of Lord Ganesha Stories for Children
Best Akbar and Birbal Stories for Kids
Indian Mythological Stories with Moral Lessons for Kids
Animal Stories with Moral Lessons for Kids

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