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Panchatantra Tales in English - Friendship Stories for Kids

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Amusing Friendship Stories for Kids

Do you love to play with your friends? Do you make new friends wherever you go? Well, before you count on every friend you have, you must know who your true friends are. The two tales of Panchatantra narrated below will teach us the essence and principles of friendship. These stories will tell you about true friendship and how you can recognise your true friends. 

The first story tells us about four friends who lived in a forest, and how time tests their friendship. The second story depicts how to keep the promise you make to your friends. So let us read the stories and unfold the events that brought true friends closer together. 

The Four Friends and the Hunter

Long long ago, in a forest, there lived a crow, a mouse, a deer, and a tortoise. They always used to spend their time together as good friends. One day, a cruel hunter was wandering about the forest and came to the place where the four friends were playing. The deer saw him first and ran into the faraway thick woods, fast. The crow flew up to a tall tree and perched on its highest branch. The mouse rushed deep into its hole. However, the tortoise was moving slowly and could not escape the hunter’s trap. 

The hunter who was hoping to catch the deer was no less happy to have caught the tortoise instead. “At least, I shall not go to bed hungry,” said the hunter. The three friends of the tortoise, the deer, the mouse, and the crow, were anxious as their friend, the tortoise was caught in the trap. So they planned to trick the hunter and rescue their friend. 

As the hunter walked down the forest with the tortoise trapped in a bag, the deer came running in front of him and disappeared into the lush green bushes ahead. The hunter tried to follow the deer. The deer passed through the bushes and ran ahead; it suddenly lay down as dead at a distant knoll. The hunter could see the deer lying down at the top of the knoll. He dropped the bag in which he was carrying the tortoise and walked towards the deer. No sooner did he leave the bag than the mouse rushed to the bag and cut through the fine net with its sharp teeth. When the mouse opened the bag up, the tortoise started crawling towards the forest with small steps. The hunter was so keen on trapping the deer, that he did not even turn to look back. And just as when he approached the knoll, the deer jumped up and galloped away into the woods on the other side of the forest. 

The hunter was taken aback as he thought the deer lay dead. He hung his face in disappointment and walked back to his bag. When he stooped down to pick the bag up, he was surprised to see that the tortoise was gone. He returned home empty-handed. Thus, the friends of the tortoise rescued it from the hunter’s trap, and they lived happily ever after.

the deer, the tortoise, the crow, and the mouse

The Deer, The Tortoise, The Crow, and The Mouse

Moral of the story: “True friends always come to your rescue.”

The Story of the Elephants and the Mice

Once upon a time, there prospered a beautiful city. There was a huge lake with clear sweet water in the city. All inhabitants of the city lived happily with its bountiful supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, and crops.

One day, the people of the city moved to another bigger city with all their belongings. They even took along the cattle and horses. Only the mice stayed back in the city. With all the people gone, the mice had only more places to live and could roam about freely. They got their food from the naturally-growing fruits and vegetables in the city. The mice multiplied manifolds and over the years, there were generations of mice living in the city. There were old mice as well as baby mice, they celebrated their festivals, and supported one another in health and sickness. It became the city of mice. 

There was a dense forest nearby the village, through which meandered a wide river. All the animals in the forest drank from the river. There was a huge herd of elephants who lived in the forest. They used to visit the river and bathed and played with the water also. One year, there was very little rain, so the river was very dry. All the animals in the forest were worried as was the Queen of the elephants. So she ordered all elephants to go in the search of water outside the forest. The elephants found the clean water lake in the city of mice. They returned to the forest and informed their Queen of the same. 

Soon the herd of the elephants went to the city and as they approached the lake, the elephants trampled thousands of mice under their feet. The elephants were so overjoyed to be in the water after so long that the mice were afraid they would trample the rest of them under their feet on their return. The mice went up to the old mouse and told him about all this. The wise old mouse asked them to go up to the Queen of the elephants, tell of their fear, and request her to take the herd through some other route. 

the mice and the elephants became good friends

The mice being trampled under the feet of the elephants

The mice went to the queen of the elephants and did as advised by the old mouse. She was very sorry for the mice, who were trampled under the feet of her herd when they told her about their sorrow. She assured them that she would take her herd through another route on their way back and that they would never visit the city for their safety. The mice promised to be the friends of elephants and help them whenever they would need.

the wise old mouse talking to the other mice

The wise old mouse talking to the other mice

After a few years, the King of the nearby village wanted to gather a herd of elephants for his regiment. The kingsmen went to the forest to trap the elephants. They had dug out deep trenches and filled them with leaves and placed lots of bananas on the leaves. The elephants tried to reach out for the bananas when they saw them and fell into the trenches. Later, the kingsmen pulled them out and tied them down with thick ropes and nets. The king was informed of the trapped elephants. 

The queen of the elephants was also trapped among the other elephants. While she tried to think of a way to escape, she recalled the mice who promised to help. She saw a mouse passing by and told him to inform the old mouse of her predicament. Soon, the group of mice came to her rescue. The mice started to cut through the net and ropes with their sharp teeth, and the elephants were freed again. 

Image of the wise old mouse talking to the other mice

Image of the wise old mouse talking to the other mice

The elephants and their queen were grateful to the mice and thanked them from the bottom of their hearts. The wise old mouse was happy as he could help the elephants and keep his promise of helping them in need. Thus, his debt towards the elephants was repaid. 

The Queen Elephant trapped by the kingsmen

The Queen Elephant trapped by the kingsmen

Moral of the story: “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”


In the first story, the deer, the crow, the mouse risked their lives and saved the tortoise. They lived happily thereafter. Similarly, the elephants and the mice became great friends as the mice kept their promise of friendship and rescued the elephants. Thus, in the above two stories, we learnt how true friends can save us when we are in dire need. 

There are several other friendship stories for kids in Panchatantra on Vedantu. So let your kids learn the classic tales of Panchatantra and understand the value of true friends in life.

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FAQs on Panchatantra Tales in English - Friendship Stories for Kids

1. Why was the tortoise caught by the hunter?

Among the four friends, the tortoise walked the slowest. When the deer, the mouse, and the crow fled the place, the tortoise was not able to move fast enough to escape the hunter’s trap. Hence, the hunter caught the tortoise.

2. Why did the elephants visit the city of mice?

The elephants used the water of the river flowing through the forest. When the river was drying up, they looked for a new source of water. They found the freshwater lake in the city of mice and went up to the lake to get some water. Thus, the elephants had visited the city of mice when the river in the forest was about to dry up.