Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Short Panchatantra Stories in English For Kids

share icon
share icon

These moral short stories entertain and educate children of all ages with valuable life lessons.

Children will learn to be patient, kind, calm and other morals to become a better person.

Introduction to the Panchatantra Stories For Kids

Panchatantra stories are a fabulous collection of moral stories for kids which enchant as well as educate children of all ages. Their pictorial depictions grab kids' attention while also imparting many valuable lessons of life to them. The specialty of Panchatantra stories is that all its fables are based on animals who speak and behave like humans.

These stories were written originally in Sanskrit but have been translated 200 times into fifty different languages across the world (including English, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, and many Indian vernacular languages.) In this article, we will learn about 1o short Panchatantra stories which have a central theme of the significance of the presence of mind and how one must not lose control of their wit during tough or dangerous situations.

Origin of Short Panchatantra Stories

The story goes that there was a KIng called Amarshakti who had three sons who were not very intelligent and dull-witted. The King appointed a scholar called Visnhu Shamra to educate his three sons. After interacting with the King's sons, Vishnu Sharma realized that the traditional tools of education would not work on the princes so he adopted the method of teaching moral lessons through interesting stories. 

Vishnu Sharma thus authored Panchatantra which means five treatises. The collection has five chapters with a total of eighty-four stories in them, all imparting different morals and lessons to the readers. These stories are deemed to be more than 2500 years old and offer great insight into human character and its many shades such as treachery, deceit, honesty, nobleness, kindness, cruelty, stupidity, and many more.

Summary of 1o Short Panchatantra Stories

In this particular collection, there are ten stories that revolve around how anyone can get out of a dangerous situation by just using their intelligence. It is not important to have physical strength as much as mental acumen, and these stories depict the same. Here we will look into a few of those stories like the monkey and the crocodile, stork and the crab, and the loyal mongoose.

Summary of Monkey and the Crocodile 

A monkey lived on a tree that bore delicious Jamun (Indian blackberries) fruits. One day a crocodile came near the tree to take some rest and the monkey offered him some Jamuns. The crocodile loved it and soon the two became fast friends. They would often meet under the tree, chat, and eat Jamuns. One day the monkey sent some Jamuns to the crocodile's wife. The wife loved the tasty fruits and wondered if the fruit was so tasty then how tasty the monkey's liver would be who eats this fruit daily. 

She then pretended to have fallen sick and told the crocodile that the doctor has recommended that she eats a monkey's liver to survive.The wife then coaxed the crocodile to get his friend's liver which after a lot of arguments, the crocodile relented to getting for her. He went to the monkey and told her that his wife was very happy with the fruits and had invited the monkey for dinner at their place. The monkey hops on the crocodile's back to go to his place.

But while they were on the way, the crocodile told the monkey the real reason for the invitation, which was to get his liver and give it to his wife to eat. The monkey was outraged at this betrayal and scared for a minute but he soon regained his composure and told the crocodile that he left his liver on the tree and they must go back to the tree to get it. The foolish crocodile agreed and as soon as the monkey reached the tree he jumped off and told the crocodile of being so stupid to believe someone can keep their liver outside of their body. He also cut his relationship with the crocodile forever.

Summary of the Stork and the Crab

A stork lived in a pond and fed on fishes and crabs in it. But as he started growing old, it became difficult for him to catch his meals. So he hatched a plan. He told all the fishes, crabs, and frogs in the pond that some men have decided to fill the pond to grow crops. Hence, to survive they must find another water body. He told them that he knew of a bigger pond and offered to help all the creatures in the pond in getting to the bigger pond. 

The fishes were very happy to hear this and the stork started carrying a few fishes daily to a rock, killing and eating them up. There was a crab in the pond who also wished to go to the bigger pond and requested the stork to carry him there. When they were on the way to the rock, the crab grew suspicious as he saw fish bones around a rock where the stork would take the fish and eat them. The crab immediately realized that the stork would kill and eat it too, hence he grabbed the stork's neck with all his might till the stork was dead.

Summary of the Loyal Mongoose

There lived a farmer couple who had a pet mongoose. They also had an infant whom they left in the mongoose's care one day for some urgent work. A snake stealthily tried to enter the house and started moving towards the cradle to attack the baby. The mongoose fought with the snake and finally killed it to protect the child. When the farmer and his wife returned, the wife was shocked to find blood stains on the mongoose and concluded that the mongoose had killed her baby. In utter despair and anger, the wife killed the mongoose. But when she went to the cradle and saw that her baby was safe and sound and a dead snake was lying beside the cradle she realized what a blunder she had made.

The other seven stories in this collection are The Elephants and the mice, The tortoise and the Geese, A Tale of Three Fish, The Clever Rabbit and the Foolish Lion, The Jackal and the Drum, The Elephant and the Sparrows, The Wise Minister's Advice, and the Musical Donkey.

Image of the Loyal Mongoose Story

Image of the Loyal Mongoose Story

The Moral of Panchatantra Stories for Kids

From all the stories in this article we learn the following lessons:

  • One must not act in haste but check all the facts before coming to any conclusion.

  • Do not lose your nerve in dangerous situations as the presence of mind can help you come out of any risky situation.

  • You must not make friends and trust those people who have been your enemy in the past.

Note to Parents

All the ten stories in this collection teach us that the answer to all problems lies with us. We can master our minds to keep ourselves away from all dangers. This is an extremely valuable moral to teach children and parents should try to highlight its central theme when telling the stories. Panchatantra stories not only teach us morals but also help young minds develop vocabulary and cognition. Hence, parents should try to work on these aspects through storytelling sessions and ask the kids relevant questions to tickle their creative side.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?
Courses for kids
English Superstar
Grade LKG - 2
Maths Classes
Grade 1 - 2
Spoken English
Grade 3 - 5

FAQs on Short Panchatantra Stories in English For Kids

1. What is the moral of the story "The Tortoise and the Geese"?

The story of tortoise and geese tells us that if we let our anger and ego overpower the rational side of our brains, we end up being losers in many ways. The story also tells us we must follow instructions properly. In this story when the tortoise is being carried away by the geese (by holding a stick with its beak and the geese carrying that stick), he gets offended by onlookers' comments, opens his mouth to retaliate, falls on the ground, and dies.

2. Which story in this collection tells us that we must be open to change?

The Tale of Three Fishes highlights the moral that change is the only constant in our lives and we must not shy away from it. In this story, when the three fishes are threatened by the arrival of a fisherman, one of the fishes is too reluctant to move out of danger to another lake. This fish finally gets caught by the fisherman and dies.

3. What are the five volumes of Panchatantra?

The five volumes, chapters, or treatises of Panchatantra are:

  1. Mitra Labha - This part has stories about gaining friends.

  2. Mitra Bheda - Stories in this volume talk about losing friends.

  3. Aparïksitakárakam - This means acting without thinking and contains tales of how lack of discretion ends up in loss of various kinds.

  4. Labdhapranásam - This collection talks about coming out of difficult situations without endangering anything.

  5. Kákolùkïyam - The meaning of this word is crows and owls and the stories revolve around strategies and rules of war and peace.