Moral values are timeless and universal. And, what better way to instil in your child the highest standards of conduct and behaviour than through moral stories.
By Jasmine Kaur
The extent to which we are influenced by stories can't be quantified. Almost every story entertains us and teaches us a valuable lesson.
However, it is moral stories, first told many generations before, that have the power to change our lives. For, they impart wisdom, teach us life lessons, and inspire us to follow the right path.
But, with every generation, the world changed, and people's lives became busier than ever before. And, while we grew up listening to moral stories and learning from them, we don't have the time to tell them to our children. In fact, most of us don't even remember them. Because of our busy schedule, we expect our children to learn more from the Internet than from us. But, is it the right thing to do?
To help you change the trend and bond with your child, here are a few moral stories that both you and your child can read together. Or, you can read them and narrate them later to your child over the weekend.
The protagonist of this story is a young shepherd boy living in a village. Every day, the boy would take his flock of sheep to graze on a nearby hill. One day, while the sheep were grazing, the boy felt bored and decided to play a prank on the people of his village. “Wolf…Wolf!” he cried out as loud as he could.
Listening to his cries for help, the villagers rushed to help. And, when they came close, he began laughing. When the villagers understood that the boy had fooled them, they were very angry. Warning him not to play the prank again, they returned.
However, the boy indulged in the mischief again a few days later. This time too, the villagers warned the boy before returning to the village.
A few days later, the villagers heard the boy's cries for help once again. And, this time, it was for real. However, the villagers were tired of being laughed at and didn’t think that the boy was really in trouble. So, they ignored his cries for help. And, the wolf killed and ate all his sheep.
Moral of the story: People do not believe liars even when they tell the truth. Do not laugh at the kindness and helpfulness of people, they might not always offer it.
There was once a king named Midas who loved gold. One day, God appeared before him and asked him to wish for anything.
Being greedy about gold, Midas said, "Everything I touch should turn to gold." God granted his wish and told him that, from the next day, everything he touched would turn to gold.
Midas was very happy. He woke up early next morning and went around touching everything and turning them to gold.
After a while, Midas felt hungry. He picked up a piece of bread to eat, but it turned to gold. When he picked up a glass of water to quench his thirst, it turned to gold as well. As, Midas was thinking about what to do, his daughter rushed to him. And, when Midas touched her, she turned into a golden statue.
Miserable and teary-eyed, Midas no longer wanted the boon. He prayed to God and atoned for his greed. Pleased by Midas' prayer, God asked him to wash his hands in the nearby river to get rid of the golden touch.
Midas returned after washing his hands and found that everything he had changed to gold had turned back to normal.
Moral of the story: Greed can be destructive. Also, there are many things in life more important and precious than gold or riches.
One day, a baby camel was chatting with her mother. She asked, "Mother, why do we have humps, round feet, and long eyelashes?"
Drawing a deep breath, the mother explained, "Our humps store water. This helps us survive long journeys in a desert where water is scarce. Our round feet allow us to walk comfortably on sand. And, our long eyelashes protect our eyes from dust and sand, especially during sandstorms."
The baby camel remained silent for some time and then asked, "Mother, why do we stay in a zoo even when we are blessed with so many qualities?"
Moral of the story: Your skills and strengths are of no use if you are not in the right place.
There was once a lonely elephant. One day, he set out to find friends for himself in the jungle. He found a monkey and asked him if he would be a friend. The monkey refused saying, "You can't swing from trees like me." The elephant next met a rabbit and asked him to be his friend. The rabbit refused as well saying, "You are too big to enter my burrow." The elephant then met a frog, who also refused saying, "You can't leap like me." The elephant ventured deeper into the jungle where he met a fox. The fox also refused the elephant's friendship saying, "You are too big."
Disheartened, the elephant returned. However, the next day he decided to go to the jungle again. As he entered the jungle, the elephant found all the animals running to save their lives. He stopped the bear to enquire what had happened.
The bear said, "The tiger wants to eat us and so we are all running to save ourselves."
As the elephant was thinking about what he could do to help the animals, the tiger walked up to him.
"Mr Tiger, please spare these animals. Do not kill and eat them," the elephant implored.
"Run or I'll kill and eat you as well," growled the tiger.
This angered the elephant and he kicked the tiger. The frightened tiger ran away.
All the animals now wanted to be friends with the elephant.
Moral of the story: You can even be friends with those who are different from you.
Once, a mouse accidentally wakes up a lion. This angers the lion and the mouse begs for his life and promises to pay him back in kind. The lion laughs at this, but lets the mouse go. A few days later, the mouse finds the lion trapped in a net and sets the lion free by gnawing on the ropes.
Moral of the story: No one is so small that they cannot help you; everyone has something to offer. And mercy is not a wasted act.
A hungry wolf came across a farm and tried to eat a sheep. However, the farmers chase him away. The wolf came back after a while and saw some of the farmers enjoying roasted lamb. He thought to himself about how if he had done the same, the farmers would have chased him away and even killed him for having killed an innocent lamb.
Moral of the story: We judge other people for actions that we don’t judge ourselves for doing.
This Chinese folklore is about an emperor trying to find a successor. So, he holds a contest in which whoever produces the most beautiful flower from the provided seeds wins. A young gardener is amongst the contestants, and though he tries his best, he can’t get the seed to grow. At the end he takes his empty pot and displays it amongst other beautiful flowers. It turns out that the seeds had been cooked so that they would not sprout. He is chosen to be the successor, as he is the only honest contestant.
Moral of the story: Honesty is important, even when the results are disappointing.
A boy wets his pants in a classroom and is terrified at the prospect of others finding out and ridiculing him. At the same time a girl and a teacher are walking toward him with a bowl of water. The girl trips and pours the water on his lap. He pretends to be angry with her and the teacher helps them clean the mess. Later the boy asks the girl if she did that on purpose and she replies that she’s wet her pants too.
Moral of the story: Try to put yourself in the shoes of others and think about the kind of help you’d want if you were in that situation. Then provide such help, if possible.
Given this amazing mix of classic and modern moral stories, you can teach your child some great life lessons. So, gear up for some story time this weekend.
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