These are Panchatantra Tales from ancient India. People of all age groups can read them. It has got many moral values and lessons to teach us.
Panchatantra Tales Best Lessons
1) The Wise Minister’s Advice
A gang of owls attacked some crows in a forest, one night, and killed them all. Because the crows couldn’t see clearly at night, they couldn’t fight back.
The King of the crows was so distressed to hear the news, that he went to his wise old minister for guidance. The minister gave him some advice and sent him back.
The next day, the crows went to the owl’s cave and put on a dramatic show! One crow pretended to praise the owls and the other ones struck him down! Seeing this, the Owl King thought that this crow was in favour of the owls. The crow continued to live with the owls, till one morning, the crow flew away, and with the help of his crow friends, set fire to the entrance of the owl cave! Since owls are nocturnal creatures, they were fast asleep, and all of them were killed!
Moral of the Story: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
2) The Musical Donkey
A washer man’s donkey would be free to graze on the green field, after a hard day’s work. Instead of staying on the field, he would sneak into the villagers’ farms and eat the vegetables growing, before sneaking back home. The donkey met a jackal, and they became good friends. They decided to hunt together, and the fat donkey would break the fence to eat vegetables, while the jackal hunted the farm animals. One night, the donkey told the jackal that he felt like singing. The jackal pleaded with him not to sing, as they would get caught.
However, the donkey got annoyed and insisted on singing. He opened his mouth and began to bray loudly, and the jackal immediately ran away. The farmers, on hearing the donkey bray, came rushing out and thrashed him for eating their vegetables. The farmers tied a mortar on the donkey, and as he walked home, the jackal joked about the farmers gifting the donkey a necklace for his singing.
Moral of the Story: There is a time and place for everything.
3) The Hermit And The Mouse
A hermit took care of a temple in a small village. He took alms and shared it with a few people who helped him clean the temple. There was a mouse in the temple that kept stealing the hermit’s food and causing trouble for him. The hermit could not get rid of the mouse no matter what he did. The mouse continued to steal food, even when it was kept in an earthen pot hung from the roof.
Distraught, the sage sought advice from a friend, who told him to find the mouse’s food reserves and destroy them. After a thorough search of the premises, the sage found the stockpile of the mouse and destroyed it. With its food gone, the mouse was unable to jump high up to the roof for food. It became weak and got caught by the hermit, who threw it far away from the temple. The mouse was hurt and never returned to the temple.
Moral of the story : Strike at the enemy’s source of strength to defeat him.
4) The Loyal Mongoose
A farmer couple had a pet mongoose. One day, the farmer and his wife had to urgently go out of the house for work, and so they left the mongoose with their infant, assured that he would guard their baby well. While they were gone, a snake stealthily entered the house and moved towards the cradle to attack the infant. The smart mongoose fought and killed the snake in order to protect the baby.
When the farmer’s wife returned home, she was shocked to be greeted by blood stains on the mongoose’s mouth and teeth. She lost her temper and shouted, “You killed my baby!” In her anger, she lost all control and killed the loyal mongoose. When she entered her house, she saw the baby alive, and the dead snake beside him. She realised what happened and regretted her actions.
Moral of the Story: Think before you act.
5. The Foolish Weaver
A weaver and his wife lived in a village. He went to the forest to get wood that he needed to repair his loom. As he began to chop the tree, a djinn appeared and asked him not to cut his abode. In return, the genie offered to give anything that the weaver wanted. The weaver left the forest to discuss this with his wife. The greedy and dimwitted wife told the weaver to ask the genie for an extra head and two extra hands so he can think more and work more.
The stupid weaver agreed and went back to the djinn, which immediately granted the wish. The weaver happily walked back to the village, where people thought him to be a monster and beat him to death.
Moral of the story: Lack of proper judgment can lead to several missed opportunities.
6. A Tale of Three Fish
In a lake, there were three fish who were great friends. The first fish was very smart, the second one knew how to find his way out of trouble, and the third was adamant and hated changes. The first fish overheard a fisherman’s conversation about coming back the next day and fishing in the lake. Sensing danger, he cautioned his friends to move out of the lake. The second fish said, “I will stay here and find a way out if I’m caught.” The third fish said, “I do not want to move out. I will remain here, and if I have to get caught, I will.” The first fish moved out. The next day, the fisherman arrived and caught the other two fish. The second one cleverly escaped by pretending to be dead. The third fish did nothing and got caught and died.
Moral of the Story: One should always be open to change and adapt accordingly. Take immediate action when you sense danger.
7. Four Friends And A Hunter
A deer, a turtle, a crow and a rat were friends. They lived happily in a jungle. One day, the deer was caught in a hunter’s trap and the friends made a plan to save him. The deer struggled as if it was in pain and then it lie motionless, with eyes wide open, as if it were dead. The crow and the other birds then sat on the deer and started poking it as they do to a dead animal.
Right then, the turtle crossed the hunter’s path to distract him. The hunter left the deer, assuming it dead, and went after the turtle. Meanwhile, the rat chew open the net to free the deer while the crow picked up the turtle and quickly took it away from the hunter.
Moral of the story : Teamwork can achieve great result.
8) The Crows And The Cobra
Two crows, husband and wife, and a cobra lived on a banyan tree in a forest near a small kingdom. The cobra was wicked and ate the crows’ eggs when the crows left the nest in search of food. The crows went to a wise jackal and ask for advice.
As per the advice of the jackal, one of the crows went to the royal palace and stole a very precious necklace belonging to the queen as the guards watched. The crow flew slowly to its nest, so that the guards can follow it.
On reaching the banyan tree, the crow dropped the necklace in the tree’s hollow cove, where the snake lived. On finding a cobra in the hollow, the guards killed it and retrieved the necklace. The crows thanked the jackal and lived happily.
Moral of the story: Even the most powerful enemies can be defeated with intelligence.
9) The Stork and the Crab
Once upon a time, there lived a stork who used to pick fishes from the pond beside him, and eat them. However, as he grew older, he found it difficult to catch a single fish. In order to feed himself, he thought of a plan. He told the fish, frogs, and crabs, that some men are planning to fill the pond and grow crops, and that’s why there won’t be any fish in the pond. He also told them how sad he felt about this and that he will miss them all.
The fish were sad and asked the stork to help them. The stork promised to take all of them to a bigger pond. However, he told them, “As I am old, I can take only a few of you at one go.” The stork would take the fishes to a rock, kill them, and eat them up. Every time he was hungry, he would take a few of them to the rock and eat them.
There lived a crab in the pond, who wanted to go to the bigger pond too. The stork thought of eating the crab for a change and agreed on helping him. On the way, the crab asked the stork, “Where is the big pond?” The stork laughed and pointed to the rock, which was filled with fish bones. The crab realised that the stork would kill him, and so quickly thought of a plan to save himself. He caught the stork’s neck and did not let it go until the stork died.
Moral of the Story: Always have a presence of mind and act quickly when in danger.
10) The Elephants and the Mice
There was a village that was abandoned by its people after it shattered, post an earthquake. However, the mice living in the village decided to stay and make it their home. On the outskirts of this village, there was a lake, where a herd of elephants visited regularly to bathe and drink water. Since the village was on the way to this lake, the elephants trampled the mice while walking there. So, the king of mice decided to meet the elephants. He told them, ” O elephants, as you travel through the village, many mice are trampled. We will be very grateful if you could please consider changing your route. We will remember and return the favour when you are in need.”
The elephant king laughed, “We are giant elephants. What favour can you mice return? Nevertheless, we honour your request and change our route.”
After a few days, the elephants got trapped and entangled in nets that were set up by hunters. They struggled hard to escape, but in vain. The elephant king remembered the promise made by the king of mice. So, he sent a fellow elephant who got lucky and was not trapped, to ask the mice king to come and help them.
Soon, all the mice came and started nibbling the nets, and freed the elephants. The king of the elephants couldn’t thank the mice enough!
Moral of the Story: A friend in need is a friend indeed. Always be kind to people, and grateful for their help.