1000 English Stories -- Short Stories


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    1000 English Stories with Big Ideas.stories in English to improve your vocabulary and speaking skills. Here is a large collection of Moral Stories.

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  • SHORT STORIES

    Lesson 1:17 Camels and 3 Sons

    Long ago, there lived an old man with his three sons in a deserted village, located in the vicinity of a desert. He had 17 camels, and they were the main source of his income. He used to rent out camels as a means of shipping in the desert. One day, he passed away. He had left a will, leaving his assets for his three sons.

    After the funeral and the other obligations were over, the three sons read the will. While their father had divided all the property he had into three equal parts, he had divided the 17 camels in a different way. They were not shared equally among the three as ‘17’ is an odd number and a prime number, which cannot be divided.

    The old man had stated that the eldest son will own half of the 17 camels, the middle one will get one third of the 17 camels, and the youngest one will get his share of camels as one ninth!

    All of them were stunned to read the will and questioned each other how to divide the 17 camels as mentioned in the will. It is not possible to divide 17 camels and give half of the 17 camels to the eldest one. It is not possible also to divide the camels for the other two sons.

    They spent several days thinking of ways to divide the camels as mentioned in the will, but none could find the answer.

    They finally took the issue to the wise man in their village. The wise man heard the problem and instantly found a solution. He asked them to bring all the 17 camels to him.

    The sons brought the camels to the wise man’s place. The wise man added a camel owned by him and made the total number of camels 18.

    Now, he asked the first son to read the will. As per the will, the eldest son got half the camels, which now counted to 18 / 2 = 9 camels! The eldest one got 9 camels as his share.

    The remaining camels were 9.

    The wise man asked the second son to read the will. He was assigned 1 / 3 of the total camels.

    It came to 18 / 3 = 6 camels. The second son got 6 camels as his share.

    Total number of camels shared by the elder sons – 9 + 6 = 15 camels.

    The third son read out his share of camels: 1 / 9th of the total number of camels – 18 / 9 = 2 camels.

    The youngest one got 2 camels as his share.

    Totally there were 9 + 6 + 2 camels shared by the brothers, which counted to 17 camels.

    Now, the one camel added by the wise man was taken back.

    The wise man solved this problem smartly with his intelligence.

    Intelligence is nothing but finding a common ground to solve an issue. In short, every problem has a solution.


  • Lesson 2:A Merchant and his Donkey

    One beautiful spring morning, a merchant loaded his donkey with bags of salt to go to the market, in order to sell the salt. The merchant and his donkey were walking along together. They had not walked far when they reached a river on the way.

    Unfortunately, the donkey slipped and fell into the river. As it scrambled up the bank of the river, it noticed that the bags of salt loaded on his back had become lighter.

    There was nothing the merchant could do except return home, where he loaded his donkey with more bags of salt. As they reached the slippery river bank again, the donkey fell into the river, this time deliberately. Thus the salt was wasted again.

    But now the merchant knew the donkey's trick. He wanted to teach the animal a lesson. As he returned home the second time with the donkey, the merchant loaded bags of sponges on its back.

    The duo set out on their trip to the market a third time. On reaching the river, the donkey very cleverly fell into the water again. But now, instead of the load becoming lighter, it became heavier.

    The merchant laughed at the donkey and said, "you foolish donkey, your trick has been discovered. You should know that you cannot fool anyone too many times."


  • Lesson 3:Change Yourself and not The World

    Long ago, people lived happily under the rule of a king. The people of the kingdom were very happy as they led a very prosperous life with an abundance of wealth and no misfortunes.

    Once, the king decided to go visiting places of historical importance and pilgrim centres at distant places. He decided to travel by foot to interact with his people. People of distant places were very happy to have a conversation with their king. They were proud that their king had a kind heart.

    After several weeks of travel, the king returned to the palace. He was quite happy that he had visited many pilgrim centres and witnessed his people leading a prosperous life. However, he had one regret.

    He had intolerable pain in his feet as it was his first trip by foot covering a long distance. He complained to his ministers that the roads weren’t comfortable and that they were very stony. He could not tolerate the pain. He said that he was very much worried about the people who had to walk along those roads as it would be painful for them too!

    Considering all this, he ordered his servants to cover the roads in the whole country with leather so that the people of his kingdom can walk comfortably.

    The king’s ministers were stunned to hear his order as it would mean that thousands of cows would have to be slaughtered in order to get sufficient quantity of leather. And it would cost a huge amount of money also.

    Finally, a wise man from the ministry came to the king and said that he had another idea. The king asked what the alternative was. The minister said, “Instead of covering the roads with leather, why don’t you just have a piece of leather cut in appropriate shape to cover your feet?”

    The king was very much surprised by his suggestion and applauded the wisdom of the minister. He ordered a pair of leather shoes for himself and requested all his countrymen also to wear shoes.

    Moral: Instead of trying to change the world, we should try to change ourselves.


  • Lesson 4:Unhelpful Friends

    Bunny rabbit lived in the forest. He had many friends. He was proud of his friends. One day Bunny rabbit heard the loud barking of wild dogs. He was very scared. He decided to ask for help. He quickly went to his friend deer. He said, "Dear friend, some wild dogs are chasing me. Can you chase them away with your sharp antlers?"

    The deer said, "That is right, I can. But now I am busy. Why don't you ask bear for help?"

    Bunny rabbit ran to the bear. "My dear friend, you are very strong. Please help me. Some wild dogs are after me. Please chase them away," he requested to the bear.

    The bear replied, "I am sorry. I am hungry and tired. I need to find some food. Please ask the monkey for help."

    Poor Bunny went to the monkey, the elephant, the goat and all his other friends. Bunny felt sad that nobody was ready to help him.

    He understood that he had to think of a way out by himself. He hid under a bush. He lay very still. The wild dogs did not find the bunny. They went chasing other animals.

    Bunny rabbit learnt that he had to learn to survive by himself, not depending on his unhelpful friends.

    Moral: It is better to rely on yourself than depend on others.


  • Lesson 5:Greedy Boy

    Sam and Tom were identical twins. They were so identical that even their mother found it difficult to distinguish one from the other, at least during their initial days on earth.

    However, they were very different from each other when it came to everything other than their appearance. Sam had no friends, while Tom was a great friendship maker. Sam loved sweets, but Tom loved spicy food and detested sweets. Sam was mommy’s pet and Tom was daddy’s pet. While Sam was generous and selfless, Tom was greedy and selfish!

    As Sam and Tom grew up, their father wanted to share his fortune equally amongst them. However, Tom did not agree and he argued that whoever proved to be more intelligent and strong would have to get a bigger share of the wealth.

    Sam agreed. Their father decided to organize a competition between the two. He asked the two sons to walk as long as they could, and return home before sunset. The wealth would be divided in proportion to the distance covered. As a rule of the competition, they were not permitted to carry a watch to keep track of the time.

    The following day, Sam and Tom set out to walk. It was a rather sunny day. Sam walked slowly and steadily, while Tom broke into a sprint as he was bent on winning the race and also winning a greater portion of his father’s wealth.

    Sam knew that it would be ideal to walk as far as possible till noon and start for home at noon as it would take the same amount of time to walk back home. Knowing this, Sam decided to turn back for home at noon so as reach home on time.

    However, Tom, with his greed to earn more wealth, did not attempt to return home even after mid-noon. He walked twice as long as Sam, and thought he would still be able to return home before sunset. He hurried back when he saw the sun turn orange. Unfortunately, he could not even make it half way home as the sun started to set. Slowly darkness engulfed his path and he had to drag his tired feet back home.

    He had lost the race. Only because of his greed. Greed leads to loss.


  • Lesson 6:Strong or Weak

    There was a proud teak tree in the forest. He was tall and strong. There was a small herb next to the tree.

    The teak tree said, “I am very handsome and strong. No one can defeat me.” Hearing this, the herb replied, “Dear friend, too much pride is harmful. Even the strong will fall one day.”

    The teak ignored the herb’s words. He continued to praise himself.

    A strong wind blew. The teak stood firmly. Even when it rained, the teak stood strong by spreading its leaves.

    During these times, the herb bowed low. The teak made fun of the herb.

    One day, there was a storm in the forest. The herb bowed low. As usual, the teak did not want to bow.

    The storm kept growing stronger. The teak could no longer bear it. He felt his strength giving way.

    He tried his best to stand upright, but in the end, he fell down. That was the end of the proud tree.

    When everything was calm again, the herb stood straight. He looked around. He saw that the proud teak had fallen.

    Moral: Pride goes before a fall.


  • Lesson 7:The Crystal Ball

    In the south of Spain, there was a small village whose people were very joyful. The children played under the shades of trees in the gardens of their homes.

    A shepherd boy named Nasir stayed near the village with his father, mother and grandmother. Each morning, he took his herd of goats up the hills to find a suitable place for them to graze. In the afternoon he would return with them to the village. Each night his grandmother would tell him a story - the story of stars. This story really interested Nasir.

    On one of those days, as Nasir was watching his herd and playing his flute, he suddenly saw a wonderful light behind a flower bush. When he approached the bush, he saw a transparent and very beautiful crystal ball.

    The crystal ball was glittering like a colorful rainbow. Nasir carefully took it in his hand and turned it around. With surprise, suddenly, he heard a weak voice coming from the crystal ball. It said, “You can make a wish that your heart desires and I will fulfill it.”

    Nasir could not believe that he had actually heard a voice. When he made sure that he had indeed heard that voice from the crystal ball, he was very confused. He had so many wishes that he could not decide upon one particular wish. He said to himself, ‘if I wait till tomorrow I will remember many things. Then I will make my wish.’

    He put the crystal ball in a bag and, gathering the herd, happily returned to the village. He decided that he would not tell anyone about the crystal ball.

    On the following day also, Nasir could not decide what to wish for, because he really had everything he needed.

    The days passed as usual, but Nasir was still unable to make his wish. But he appeared to be very cheerful. The people around him were amazed to see the change in his disposition.

    One day, a boy followed Nasir and his herd and hid behind a tree. Nasir, as usual, sat in one corner, took out the crystal ball and for a few moments looked at it. The boy waited for the moment when Nasir would go to sleep. When Nasir did fall asleep after a while, the boy took the crystal ball and ran away.

    When he arrived at the village, he called all the people and showed them the crystal ball. The citizens of that village took the crystal ball in their hands and turned it around with surprise. Suddenly they heard a voice from inside the crystal ball, which said, “I can fulfill your wish.” One person took the ball and screamed, “I want one bag full of gold.” Another took the ball and said loudly, “I want two chests full of jewelry.” Some of them wished that they would have their own palace with a grand door made from pure gold, instead of their old houses. Some others wished for bags full of jewelry.

    All their wishes were fulfilled, but still the citizens of the village were not happy. They were jealous because the person that had a palace had no gold and the person that had the gold had no palace. For this reason, the citizens of the village were angry with each other and stopped speaking to each other. The gardens in the village where children used to play were no more. There were palaces and gold everywhere. The children became terribly unhappy. Only Nasir and his family were happy and contented. Every morning and afternoon he would play the flute.

    One day the children of the village took the crystal ball to Nasir. The children said to Nasir, “When we had a small village, we all were happy and joyful.” The parents also spoke. They said, “In one way or another, all of us are unhappy. The luxurious palaces and jewelry only bring us pain.”

    When Nasir saw that the people were really regretful, he said, “Even though the crystal ball asked me to wish for something, I have not done it so far. But if you really want everything to return to its own place, then I will wish for it.”

    Everyone happily agreed. Nasir took the crystal ball in his hand, turned it around and wished that the village would become the same as it was before. In a moment, the palaces disappeared, the green gardens appeared, and the same old village full of trees was there.

    Once again the people started to live happily and the children played under the shade of trees. Nasir continued his contented life every day, playing his flute at sunset. Its sweet sound was heard throughout the beautiful green village.

    Moral: We should be happy with whatever we have and not be greedy.


  • Lesson 8:The Devoted Mother

    A mother duck and her little ducklings were on their way to a lake one day. The ducklings were very happy following their mother and quack-quacking along the way.

    All of a sudden, the mother duck saw a fox at a distance. She was frightened, and shouted, "Children, hurry to the lake. There's a fox!"

    The ducklings hurried towards the lake. The mother duck wondered what to do. Then she began to walk back and forth dragging one wing on the ground.

    When the fox saw her, he became happy. He said to himself, "It seems she's hurt and can't fly! I can easily catch and eat her!" He ran towards her.

    The mother duck ran, leading the fox away from the lake. The fox followed her. Now he wouldn't be able to harm her ducklings. The mother duck looked towards her ducklings and saw that they had reached the lake. She was relieved, so she stopped and took a deep breath.

    The fox thought that she was tired and he came closer, but the mother duck quickly spread her wings and rose up in the air. She landed in the middle of the lake and her ducklings swam to her.

    The fox stared in disbelief at the mother duck and her ducklings. The mother duck had tricked him cleverly. Now he could not reach them because they were in the middle of the lake.


  • Lesson 9:The Greedy Mouse

    A greedy mouse saw a basket full of corn. He wanted to eat it. So he made a small hole in the basket. He squeezed in through the hole. He ate a lot of corn. He felt full and was very happy.

    Now he wanted to come out. He tried to come out through the small hole. He could not. His belly was full. He tried again. But it was of no use.

    The mouse started crying. A rabbit was passing by. It heard the mouse's cry and asked, "Why are you crying, my friend?"

    The mouse explained, "I made a small hole and came into the basket to eat the corn. Now I am not able to get out through that hole."

    The rabbit said, "It is because you ate too much. Wait till your belly shrinks." The rabbit laughed and went away.

    The mouse fell asleep in the basket. The next morning his belly had shrunk. But he wanted to eat some more corn. He forgot all about getting out of the basket. So he ate the corn and his belly was really big again.

    After eating, the mouse remembered that he had to escape. But obviously, he could not. So he thought, "Oh! Now I will go out tomorrow."

    The cat was the next passerby. He smelt the mouse in the basket. He lifted its lid and ate the mouse.


  • Lesson 10:The Ant and the Grasshopper

    One summer’s day, in a field, a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great effort an ear of corn he was taking to his nest.

    "Why don’t you come and chat with me," asked the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling your life away?"

    "I am helping to store up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and I recommend you to do the same."

    "Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper. "We have got plenty of food at present."

    But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

    When winter came, the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in summer.

    Then the Grasshopper knew...

    MORAL: WORK TODAY AND YOU CAN REAP THE BENEFITS TOMORROW!


  • Lesson 11:The Hare and the Tortoise

    There once was a speedy Hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, the Tortoise challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

    The Hare ran down the road for a while and then and paused to rest. He looked back at the tortoise and cried out, "How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?"

    The Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, "There is plenty of time to relax."
    The Tortoise walked and walked; never ever stopping until he came to the finish line.

    The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise, that they woke up Hare. The Hare stretched and yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise was already over the line.

    Moral: Slow and steady wins the race.

    This is the story that we have all grown up with. But recently, two additions have been proposed to the story.

    Addition 1

    After being defeated by the tortoise, the hare did some soul-searching. He knew that though he had tried hard in the beginning, he was not consistent, and had grown overconfident. He was determined to undo his mistakes, and invited tortoise for another race. This time, the rabbit was careful to run the whole distance, and of course, emerged the winner.

    Moral: Fast and consistent may be better than slow and steady.

    Addition 2

    Well, after emerging the loser in the second race, the tortoise thought long and hard. He knew that in any traditional terrain, the hare would win, if he was fast and consistent. Therefore, he thought of a non-traditional terrain for the race. Then he invited the rabbit for another race. This time the rabbit laughed out loud, thinking that the tortoise was out of his head. But the tortoise insisted that there should be another race and the terrain would be decided by the tortoise. The rabbit agreed to the idea.

    The race began. The rabbit was leading in front, with the tortoise far back trundling along. Around half way through the race, they came across a river. The rabbit halted on the bank of the river, wondering how to cross the river. Meanwhile, the tortoise approached the river slowly, got in to the water, swam across, climbed up on the other bank, ran the last few kilometers, and won the race.

    Moral: when your capabilities are below par, choose a playing ground that gives you a natural advantage.