20 Best Short Moral Stories For Kids

A collection of 20 short moral stories you can read with your kids

moral stories for kids

Reading has a significant impact on all of us, particularly children. As a result, reading appropriate content to children in their early years is highly recommended. Short moral stories for kids teach life lessons to kids in a creative and entertaining way. It also guides them to distinguish between right and wrong and instills moral principles from an early age. 

Do you recall the stories you used to read as a kid? Even if your answer is no, we have put together the perfect list for you to begin with your family. This is a collection of 20 moral stories for kids in English.

You can listen to free stories podcasts on the free Chimes Radio mobile apps – now available to download from Google or Apple App stores. 

What are Moral Stories?

Stories that teach a lesson or send a message to the reader/listeners are considered as moral stories. Moral stories teach children important life lessons, laying a strong foundation for them to respond to life’s challenges. For instance, being grateful, kind, helping others, being honest, etc.

What are the benefits of Moral Stories?

Moral values have a significant role in forming a child’s character. Reading moral stories to children is not only a great method to improve literary abilities, but it’s also a  powerful way to instill strong moral values. 

Develops strength/ courage in kids

Moral stories for kids establish a standard that can enable them to remain upright during challenging times. These stories serve as guides for children, assisting them in making the best decisions possible.

Equip them for their future

You send your kids to school to help them build resilience and make them a good human being. Through moral stories for kids, this wisdom can be easily imparted. Children can learn to distinguish between right and wrong by reading short moral stories.

Tackling Negative Influence

When all you see is negative influence, it’s easy to go wrong. Moral stories for kids can assist to combat this by instilling a strong sense of belonging and developing a strong base of moral principles. Such kids are far less likely to adopt harmful behaviours as they grow up. Grandparents usually teach us moral stories, but with the modern concept of  nuclear family, it is impossible for grandparents to be there. However, there is a fantastic collection of short moral stories for kids available.

Language Development

Reading and listening to stories develop your vocabulary and simultaneously helps in oral language development in kids. Reading is a good habit that every kid should practice from an early age. 

Fun and Best Short Moral Stories for Kids

Enjoy below an amazing collection of moral stories for kids from India and around the world.

List of short stories (Click on the names)

Classic Moral Stories for kids

lion and the mouse, moral stories for kids

1. The Lion and the Mouse

When a lion was resting in the jungle, a mouse began racing up and down his body for amusement. The lion’s sleep was interrupted, and he awoke enraged. The lion was going to eat the mouse when the mouse begged him to let him go. “I assure you, if you save me, I will be of immense help to you in the future.” The lion laughed at the mouse’s self-assurance and freed him.

A group of hunters arrived in the forest one day and captured the lion. They had him tied to a tree. The lion began to roar as he struggled to get out. Soon, the mouse passed by and spotted the lion in distress. He dashed off, biting on the ropes to free the lion, and the two hurried off into the woods.

Moral of the story: Always be kind to one another. 

moral stories for kids

2. The Wolf and the Crane

One day a wolf was eating the flesh of an animal it had killed. A little bone got stuck in his throat, and he was unable to swallow it. He soon felt severe pain in his throat and raced up and down, trying to find a way to ease it. He begged everyone he saw to help him. Finally, the wolf came face to face with the crane.

“Please help me,” the wolf pleaded. “I’ll give you exactly what you want.”

The crane agreed to give it a shot and instructed the Wolf to lie down on its side with its jaws spread as wide as it could. The crane then inserted its long neck into the Wolf’s throat and pulled out the bone. The crane then requested its reward.

“Be joyful,” the wolf added, grinning and showing his teeth. You’ve inserted your head into a Wolf’s mouth and then taken it back out safely.

Moral of the story: Kindness and Greed cannot go hand in hand.

moral stories for kids

3. The Boy Who Cried Wolf

A boy and his father lived in a village. While the sheep grazed in the fields, the boy’s father instructed him to keep an eye on them. He had to take the sheep to the grassy fields every day. The boy, on the other hand, was dissatisfied and wanted to run and play.  He decided to have a good time. “Wolf! Wolf!” he yelled, and the entire village came storming with stones to chase the wolf away before it could eat any of the sheep. The villagers went muttering under their breath about how the boy had wasted their time when they discovered there was no wolf. The boy shouted out again the next day, “Wolf! Wolf!” and the villagers hurried over to chase the wolf away.

The villagers walked away enraged this time. On the third day, as the boy climbed the tiny hill, he came face to face with a wolf attacking his sheep. “Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!” he screamed as loudly as he could, yet not a single person came to his aid. The villagers assumed he was trying to trick them once more and did not come. That day, the small boy lost a lot of sheep due to his folly.

Moral of the story: Always be truthful, you never know what lies may lead to.

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Moral stories for kids

4. The Fox and the Stork

A selfish fox once asked a stork to dinner. The invitation made Stork very delighted, and she arrived at the fox’s house on time, knocking on the door with her long beak. The fox escorted her to the supper table and gave them both soup in shallow bowls. She couldn’t eat any soup since the bowl was too shallow for her. The fox, on the other hand, quickly lapped up his soup. The stork was upset and irritated, but she didn’t show it. She asked the fox to supper the next day to teach him a lesson. She served soup in two tall thin vases, as well. The stork sipped the soup from the vase, but the fox was unable to do so due to his small neck. The fox realized he had made a mistake.

Moral of the story: Never be selfish.

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Moral stories for kids

5. King Midas and the Golden Touch

Midas, a king, once conducted a brilliant job for a Satyr and received a boon from Dionysus, the God of Wine. Midas asked for the transformation of everything he touched into gold as his wish. Despite Dionysus’ best efforts to persuade him otherwise, Midas persisted that his wish was a good one, and it was granted!

Midas was delighted as he touched everything and turned it to gold. He was soon famished. He took a bite of food, but it had changed to gold in his hand, and he couldn’t eat it!  When Midas’ beloved daughter saw his distress, she wrapped her arms around him to console him, and she, too, turned to gold!

Midas exclaimed, “The golden touch is no blessing.”

He cried as he walked down to the river. The sand of the river turned as yellow as “gold” King Midas washed away his hand in the river and the curse of the golden touch flowed away. When he went back to his palace, everything was normal again.

Moral of the story: Greed can always fire back.

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Moral stories for kids

6. The Milkmaid and Her Pail

Patty the Milkmaid was on her way to the market with a pail of milk on her head. She began calculating what she would do with the money she would receive for the milk as she went along. 

“I’ll get some quails from Farmer Brown, and they’ll lay eggs every morning,” she explained, “which I’ll sell to the parson’s wife.”

I’ll buy myself a new dress and a hat with the money I get from the sale of those eggs, and when I go to the market, won’t all the young men come up to me and talk to me? Polly Shaw would be envious, but that shouldn’t bother me. I’m simply going to stare at her and fling my head around like this. As she talked, she flung her head back, causing the pail to fall off its stand, spilling all of the milk!

Moral of the story: Count your chickens only after they’re hatched.

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Moral stories for kids

7. A Bundle of Sticks

Once upon a time, there was a man who lived with his three boys. The three sons were great workers, yet they often fought. The old man tried everything he could to bring them together, but he was unsuccessful. 

Months went by, and the old man became ill. He urged his boys to remain united, but they disobeyed him. As a result, he decided to teach them a practical lesson in order for them to put their differences aside and remain unified.

His sons were summoned by the old guy. “I’ll give you a bundle of sticks,” he said. You’ll have to break each stick in half once you’ve separated them. “Whoever breaks the sticks the fastest will be rewarded more.”

The old man handed each of them a bundle of ten sticks and instructed them to break each stick into pieces. They shattered the sticks in a matter of minutes and  began to argue once more about who was the first to do it.

The father then handed each of the boys another bundle of sticks, instructing them to break them together.

They attempted to break the stick bundle. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to break the bundle. “Dear sons,” the old guy said. See! The single sticks were easy to break into bits, but the bundle was impossible to split! So, as long as you are unified, no one can hurt you.”

The sons saw the value of unity and pledged to stick together.

Moral of the story: Unity is strength.

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Moral stories for kids

8. The Ant and the Grasshopper

A grasshopper was jumping around in a field one summer day, chirping and singing its heart out. An ant went by, dragging a grain of corn to his nest with much difficulty.

“Rather than toiling away your life, why don’t you come and chat with me?” the Grasshopper suggested!

“I’m helping with the storage of food for the winter, and I suggest that you do the same.” the Ant added.

The Grasshopper asked, “Why care about winter?  At the moment, we have plenty of food.”

The Ant, on the other hand, resumed its struggles. When winter arrived, the Grasshopper died of starvation while the ants distributed maize and grain from the stocks they had accumulated during the summer.

Moral of the story: Every struggle and hard work leads to a fruitful result

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Moral stories for kids

9. The Woodcutter and the Golden Axe

A long time ago, in a small village, there lived an honest woodcutter. He went into the surrounding forest every day to cut trees. He returned to the village with the woods and sold them to a merchant to get money. He was content with his modest lifestyle.

His axe slipped out of his hand and fell into the river one day while he was cutting a tree near a river. He couldn’t imagine retrieving it on his own because the river was so deep. He had only one axe, which he had lost in the river. He got really concerned about how he would be able to make a life today and prayed to the Goddess for help.

Mercury emerged as the God of Water. He enquired as to why he was crying. The woodcutter expressed his dissatisfaction. Mercury then split the water and gave him a golden axe. The woodcutter refused to accept it. Mercury returned, this time with a silver axe, but the woodcutter turned it down once more. After that, he arrived with an iron axe. It was graciously accepted by the woodcutter. The river God blessed him with the golden and silver axe since Mercury was so pleased with the woodcutter’s  honesty.

Moral of the story: Honesty is the best policy.

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Moral stories for kids

10. The Greedy Lion

It had been a hot day. A hungry lion was on the loose. He emerged from his den and began searching for food. He simply came across a little hare. With some hesitation, he caught the hare.

“This hare can’t fill my stomach,” the lion reasoned.

A deer rushed that way as the lion was going to kill the hare. The lion got greedy.

“Let me eat the enormous deer instead of this small hare,” he thought.

He walked behind the deer and let the hare escape. The deer, on the other hand, had fled into the woods. The lion felt bad about letting the hare go.

Moral of the story: A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

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Moral stories for kids

11. The Golden Egg

Once upon a time, a cloth merchant with his wife and two children resided in a village. They had a lovely hen who laid one egg each day. It wasn’t just any egg; it was a golden egg. But the man was dissatisfied with what he was getting on a regular basis. He desired to increase his wealth.

The man wanted to collect all of his hen’s golden eggs at once. So one day, after much thought, he came up with an idea. He made the decision to kill the hen and collect all of the eggs.

When the hen laid a golden egg the next day, the man cut off its neck and split open its body. There was nothing but blood and no egg to be found. He was heartbroken since he would no longer be able to obtain even a single egg.

With one egg a day, his life was going smoothly, but suddenly he had made his own life a misery. As a result of his greed, he began to become poorer and poorer by the day, eventually becoming a bankrupt. 

Moral of the story: Be satisfied with what you have. Too much greed can lead to disaster. 

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Moral stories for kids

12. The Miser And His Gold

A miser hid his riches in a hidden location in his garden. He went to the location every day, dug up the wealth, and counted it piece by piece to ensure it was all there. He made so many journeys that a Thief who had been watching him figured out what the Miser had concealed and discreetly dug it up and stole it one night.

The Miser was struck with anguish and despair when he learned his loss. He moaned, sobbed, and ripped his hair out.

When a passerby heard his cries, he inquired as to what had occurred.

“My prized possession! “Someone has robbed me!” exclaimed the Miser, furiously.”

“Your gold! There in that hole in the ground? Why did you place it there in the first place? Why didn’t you keep it in the house so you could grab it quickly when you needed to buy something?”

“Buy!” the Miser said fiercely. “I never touched the gold, to be honest. I couldn’t think of a good way to spend any of it.”

The stranger hurled a hefty stone into the hole.

“”If that’s the case,” he advised, “then hide that stone.” It’s just as valuable to you as the treasure you’ve lost!”

Moral of the story: A possession is only as valuable as how we use it.

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Moral stories for kids

13. The Hare and the Tortoise

Once upon a time, there was a Hare who boasted about his speed. The Tortoise, tired of hearing him brag, challenged him to a race. The forest’s animals had gathered to watch.

The Hare jogged down the road for a while before stopping to rest. “How can you expect to win this race when you’re plodding along at your slow pace?” he said back to the tortoise.

“There is plenty of time to rest,” the Hare thought as he spread himself out alongside the road and fell asleep.

The Tortoise walked and walked and walked till he reached the finish line. The animals who were watching applauded for Tortoise so loudly that the Hare was startled awake. The Hare stretched, yawned, and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise had already crossed the finish line.

Moral of the story: Slow and steady wins the race.

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Thirsty crow, moral stories in English

14. The Crow and the Pitcher

During a long drought when the Birds couldn’t find much to drink, a thirsty Crow discovered a pitcher with some water in it at the bottom. But the pitcher was tall and had a narrow neck, so the Crow couldn’t reach the water no matter how hard he tried. The poor creature felt as if he was going to die of thirst.

Then he had an idea. He took a handful of little pebbles lying in the ground and dropped them one by one into the pitcher. The water rose a little higher with each rock until it was close enough for him to drink.

Moral of the story: A good use of wit and cleverness always helps us out.

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Indian Moral Stories for kids

Moral stories for kids

15. The Blue Jackal

There lived a jackal in a forest. Due to old age, he could no longer hunt like before. He was followed by few dogs. The jackal had to run to save his life and entered the street of the clothes dyers. There he saw a big pot and he jumped into the vessel to save his life. Blue color solution was kept in the vessel to dye the clothes.

When he came out of it, he saw that the whole color of his body had turned blue. Any animal who saw its blue color would be frightened and run away from it.

Taking the advantage of the situation, he declared himself the ruler of the animal world. The lions, tigers and cheetahs were surprised to hear his words. No one dared to cut him off.

For a few days his kingdom went on very smoothly, but then one day when he was resting in his cave, he heard the sound of other jackals outside. Without thinking, he also started whining like jackals in his original voice.The lion and the tiger realized that the jackal has outsmarted them and he they killed him.

Moral of the story: No pretense can last long, one day the truth will come out. So it is better to stay in your true form and try to improve it even more.

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Moral stories for kids

16. The Speaking Cave

One day a lion was searching for food. He was very old and weak and unable to catch his preys by chasing them. Suddenly the lion saw a cave on his way and upon inspecting inside he found it to be empty.

That gave the lion an idea and he thought to himself, “ If I stay here, the owner of the cave is bound to return and that’s when I’ll jump upon it and make it my meal.”

He waited patiently till the night fell and the jackal who actually lived in the cave came back. Jackal saw the footprints of the lion and he got suspicious.   Jackal decided to trick the lion and started asking cave why the cave was not speaking to him today. Lion thought that may be cave actually does speak to Jackal every night and decided to call him in himself today. On hearing lion’s voice, Jackal got certain that lion is hiding inside and he ran away from the place to save his life.

Moral of the story: We should always be alert and take care of the things around us. 

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Akbar Birbal Stories , Podcasts For Kids, Akbar Birbal Hindi Moral Stories, Best Podcasts

17. Birbal’s Khichdi

Once on a cold winter day, Akbar and Birbal were walking by the lake. Out of curiosity, Akbar stopped and put his finger into the freezing water and immediately took it out saying, “I don’t think anyone can sustain a night in this cold water”. Akbar promised a sum of 1000 gold coins to whoever could spend a night standing in the cold water of the lake. 

Soon, a poor man came forward and spent the entire night standing in the freezing water. In the morning, when the poor man went to the court to collect his reward, Akbar asked him what made him able to stand in the freezing water whole night and the man replied, “My lord, I kept looking at a lamp that was burning at a distance on the roof of your palace, and spent my entire night looking at it”. On learning this, the emperor refused to offer the reward as he felt it was the warmth of the lamp which helped the man. The poor man then sought help from Birbal. 

Next day Birbal didn’t go to the court. When Akbar sent a messenger asking about him, Birbal told him that he had put some polenta on fire and will come as soon as its ready. This intrigued Akbar and he came to Birbal’s house and found the polenta pot hung high in the air with a small fire burning on the floor. When Akbar said that this heat can’t reach the pot, Birbal suggested that similarly the heat of a small lamp couldn’t warm the poor man in the lake. Akbar realized his mistake and gave the reward as promised to the poor man. 

Moral of the story:  A ray of hope is enough to inspire the one who is ready to work hard.

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Moral stories for kids

18. The Magical Donkey

Once Akbar gifted a very precious necklace to his queen which she safely in her room. But unfortunately, one day necklace was misplaced and queen was unable to locate it. 

Then Akbar came to know that not only the necklace but few other precious things have also gone missing in the past few days from his palace. Unable to resolve the situation, he asked Birbal to help.

Birbal brought along a friend of his, a magical donkey, to solve the mystery. He asked each suspect to go alone in the tent and hold the donkey’s tail and if the person was the thief, the donkey will identify him and give him a good kick.  Everyone followed Birbal’s instruction other than the thief. As Birbal had sprayed a powerful scent on Donkey’s tail and thief avoided touching the donkey’s tail out of fear, he was finally caught.

Moral of the story: A clever idea always saves the day. 

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hindi folk stories, hindi moral stories, hindi stories for kids

19. Master and Disciple

A Guruji lived in an ashram with his 4 disciples. Once Guruji and his disciple went to the market in a bullock cart to sell fruits and vegetables. Guruji fell asleep after ordering the bullock cart not to stop anywhere. Then there was a stumble and Guruji’s turban fell. But as ordered by Guruji, the disciples did not stop. When Guruji woke up, he got very angry at his disciples. This time, before going to sleep, Guruji ordered that whatever falls from the cart has to be picked up.

After going some distance, the oxen made cow dung. The disciples stopped the bullock cart and picked up the dung and placed it next to Guruji. When Guruji woke up again, he got very angry and this time he made a list on paper before going to sleep, in which it was written what to stop for picking up and which item not to stop for.

The bullock cart went some distance and then it stumbled. This time Guruji fell in a swarm after falling from the bullock cart. The disciples look at the list and saw that Guruji’s name was not mentioned. Guruji kept shouting and the disciples stood with their faces bowed. Then an old woman came out from there. The disciples narrated the whole story. The old lady took the paper from the disciples and wrote Guruji’s name on the list of things to be carried. Then the disciples came out to Guruji and all went back to the ashram.

Listen full podcast: Indian Folk Stories

The Story of Pinocchio

20. Pinocchio

A clever puppet named Pinocchio,  was carved by a carpenter Geppetto who treats the puppet like his own son.

But Pinocchio is determined to become a real boy and in the process, he learns a great many lessons. Every time he gets stuck in a difficult situation, he lies and lies, but mysteriously, he finds his nose growing longer with each lie he speaks. He also decides never to give in to his temptations again and again but his resolutions last only till the next available opportunity. But finally, he learns his lessons and proves himself to be worthy of being a real boy.

Listen full podcast: Pinocchio story

Conclusion

Short moral stories for kids are a wonderful approach to impart key life values to children in a fun and understandable way. Short stories are ideal since they allow your kids to focus for a short period of time.

FAQ'S For Moral Stories

  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf. 
  • The Golden Touch. 
  • The Fox and the Grapes. 
  • The Proud Rose. 
  • The Milkmaid and Her Pail. 
  • The Golden Egg.
  • Respect everyone
  • Be Honest
  • Help each other
  • Never lie or misbehave
  • Never steal things

Yes, to develop the moral conscience in kids

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