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The “Keep it for the Beggar” Story in English for Kids

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Overview

Some stories change the perspective with which children see life. This story features in that category.  The story of “Keep it for the Beggar” will teach children to:

  • Live in the moment and value time spent in the day

  • Not take the future for granted.

It will also teach children the values of generosity and integrity.

Introduction to the Story of a Beggar

The “Keep it for the Beggar” story is about a man who wishes to enjoy his food in the morning. However, he passed away before the break of dawn. It reminds children that time and life are not guaranteed and emphasises their value.  As it is a folk tale, young kids will be able to relate to this story while simultaneously being fascinated by the magical elements in it.

The Beggar Summary

There was a family that lived in a peaceful village in South India. Once in a while, the mother would prepare a sweet dish for her children. The children would get very excited whenever a sweet dish was prepared and ask the mother to save some for the next morning. However, the mother would always say she would only save it if the children asked her to keep it for a beggar.


The children were often confused but listened to their mother’s requests. One day, the curious children asked their mother why they should ask her to keep it for the beggar. The mother sat down to narrate a story to the children.


She said, “Once upon a time, a couple lived in a small village. The husband and wife adored each other a lot. The husband would farm, and the wife would use the farm produce to make food for both of them. Generally, the husband would ask the wife to keep the leftovers from dinner for his breakfast.


The husband loved the taste of dhal. So, every night the wife would prepare a large quantity of dhal for the next morning’s breakfast. The husband used to remind her daily too. He would say, ‘Please save me from the dhal for tomorrow.’


This went on for several years. One day, as per the norm, the husband asked his wife to save a portion of the dhal. But this time, there was hollow laughter heard outside the house. Perturbed, the couple started looking for  the source. However, they weren’t able to find anything out of the ordinary. So they got back to their dinner. The husband then repeated his reminder to save dhal for the next day. They heard the hollow laugh again. Then the sequence happened for the third time. However, none of the neighbours could identify it.


That night, for some unforeseen reason, a venomous snake bit the husband as he was going to sleep. Before the neighbours could stop it, the husband had passed away. The wife mourned his passing and sorrowfully exclaimed, ‘Dear husband, how did you forget your dhal so quickly and move on?’


A formless voice, an acolyte of Lord Yama, then announced that Lord Yama sent him to fetch the husband, as fate had declared the end of his life. When the acolyte reached this world, he heard the husband ask his wife to reserve some dhal. Knowing the future, the acolyte could not contain his laughter. The acolyte noted the poignant uncertainty of life that humans ignore. He then went back to Lord Yama’s side.’


The mother told her children that from then on, everyone knew that life in this world is always uncertain. She added it isn’t possible to say keep sweet for tomorrow morning, because one who lives at this moment isn’t necessarily going to live in the next.


A Picture of Lord Yama


A Picture of Lord Yama

Some Morals From the “Keep it for the Beggar” Story

The moral of this story is to never take time or life for granted. It teaches young children about the reality of death, and to be grateful for each day as it comes. It also teaches children to show their gratitude through generosity.

Note to Parents 

Short stories are excellent ways of transferring morals to children. However, they may often deal with complicated themes; parents should take the time to answer the questions children may have. This story, as with other folk tales, has been passed down through generations, so it will be beneficial for children to learn through this time-tested method.

Conclusion

So, instead of the above, she asked her kids to say, “keep it for tomorrow morning so the beggar can have some. That way, if we are fortunate enough to be alive the next day, we can give some to a beggar to be thankful for our luck and keep some for ourselves.”

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FAQs on The “Keep it for the Beggar” Story in English for Kids

1. What is the meaning of acolyte?

The word “acolyte” means “assistant” or “follower”.

2. Are all snakes venomous?

No, there are different kinds of snakes. Some are venomous, while some are not. However, getting first aid or visiting a hospital is always important after a snake bite.

3. Who is Lord Yama?

Lord Yama is the Hindu god of death.


Overview

Some stories change the perspective with which children see life. This story features in that category.  The story of “Keep it for the Beggar” will teach children to:

  • Live in the moment and value time spent in the day

  • Not take the future for granted.

It will also teach children the values of generosity and integrity.