The Egyptian Merchant and other short stories for Kids

We have two short stories for kids. One of them is a very popular story of the ant and the grasshopper, but we have twisted the end a bit to suit today’s times. The other story is from Cairo. It is a fun story with a few plot twists that will keep the kid interested

Short Story One: The Ant and the Grasshopper

In the garden, on a summer’s day a grasshopper was chirping, singing and hoping about having fun. An ant passed by carrying some food back to his nest. The grasshopper observed that the ant was doing this daily.

One-day grasshopper stopped the ant and asked.

“Why not come and chat with me? Instead of doing all of that work?” said the grasshopper.

“I have a lot of work to do. I have no time to stand and chat.”, said the ant.

“Where do you go every day? What are you bringing?” asked the grasshopper.

“Am storing up food for the winter” said the ant.

The ant then suggested that the grasshopper should do the same. “ Winter is coming!” said the ant.

“Why brother about the winter when its so many months away?” said the grasshopper.

“You know that we have months of snow in the winter, we will not get any food. You will be wise to collect and store some food.” , said the ant.

Grasshopper laughed loudly, and said, “I will never have a situation like that brother, I can fly. I will fly in search of food. Since you can’t fly, you have to toil like this.”

The ant didn’t argue any further. He went about quietly doing his work.

Winter came, as it always does! The ant sat inside its nest. It had enough to eat. It also had enough time to rest and rejuvenate.

The grasshopper on the other hand was struggling. Along with the snow, the winter also brought strong winds. The grasshopper’s flying skills were useless in such a strong wind.

Our friend , the ant, was not just hardworking. He was also kind. He offered the grasshopper some food. He realized that, if it weren’t for the ant’s hard work and kindness, he would have starved to death. Thus, the grasshopper realized his mistake and from the next year on, he worked along with the and to store food and because they worked together they could store a lot of food and they each individually had a lot less work.

Parenting Take Away:

This short story is an old folk take told around the world. We have modified the end to suit the times we live in. In the old form of the story, the grasshopper pays with his life for being lazy.  This kind of a conclusion drives the point harder.  However, we believe in creating a kinder world for the next generation and we should raise our children to understand kindness.

The Egyptian Merchant and His Wife

Mohammad was a Jeweler from Egypt. He moves from one city to another, selling his jewelry. He decided to move to the big city of Cairo.

In Cairo, he met a merchant who gave him a piece of advice; “You appear to be new in this country. You don’t know about the customs of this city. Make sure when you visit the Sultan. You should gift him something precious .If he likes you,  he will allow you to play chess with him ” 

Mohammad was okay with all the rules and presented precious diamonds to Sultan. Sultan accepted the gifts and asked Mohammad a few questions. Sultan enjoyed Mohammad’s company and got to know Mohammad as a wealthy man.

The Sultan took a liking to Mohammad and invited him to a game of chess.

Mohammad realized that he had walked into a trap. The sultan’s conditions of play were very unique. The Sultan had a cat and he had kept a lamp of his head.. The sultan’s condition was that, till the game of chess was on if the lamp didn’t fall from  the cats head, he would take away all of Mohammad’s assets. If the lamp fell then all of the Sultan’s assets would go to Mohammad. The Sultan had trained the cat to sit still and so the game was rigged.

Mohammad played really well and the game went for 3 days, but in the end the game did end and the cat still had the lamp on its head.

Mohammad returned home a pauper. Dejected, he prepared to leave the city in penury. His wife said she might have a way to get all their wealth back. She went over the Sultan’s in a disguise and managed to get herself invited to the game of chess.  She knew how the game would be played. She asked one of her maids to carry a few rats in a box. As soon as the game of chess began, the maid let the rats lose. The cat dropped the lamp and started running.

Sultan protested saying that the Mohammad’s wife had cheated. But, she reminded him that the game was rigged in the first place.  Her courage made the other courtiers also stand up for her. After a lot of negotiation, the sultan gave back all of Mohammad’s wealth and promised never to cheat citizens in a rigged game.

Parenting Takeaways:

This story is told in the Middle East, to impress upon children the importance of being fair. It is also a story that can teach children to not give up when they are cornered.

If you like our stories, we are sure you will like our posters too. Do check them out


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