The Merchant's Honey and Other Short Stories

These short stories for kids are from oral folk tales told in the Indian state of  Tamil Nadu 

The donkey and the dog

Kanna and his family lived in a small village. Kanna was a very skilled pot maker. He mae  some wonderful clay pots and sold at the market.  In those days, there were no vehicles. People carried stuff on their back or they used animals to help them carry the weight.

Kanna had carried his wares to the market on his back for many years. After many years of working, he saved enough to buy a donkey.

The donkey helped him carry his pots to the market. He liked his donkey very much. The donkey loved him too. The two were the best of friends. They enjoyed each other’s company, while going about their chores.

There were some naughty monkeys that had found their way into the village. They disturbed Kanna’s pottery work; often they also jumped on his things and broke them.  Kanna was upset and thought about what he could do about this. He decided to buy a dog to help him guard the pottery items.

He bought a dog at the market. He trained his dog on  how to protect the house and pottery Items.  In a few days, the dog attached to Kanna too.

Whenever Kanna returned home, the dog ran up to him. The dog would put his paws on Kanna’s shoulder and play. Kanna would pet the dog and feed him.

The donkey used to watch this daily. He started to feel a bit jealous of the dog.  He thought, “What an easy life for the dog! He just roams around the house..  Yet, he is being cared with love and affection. But look at me I Carry all the loads. Yet, all I get is hard blows and leftovers for eating”.

The donkey then decided that he would behave in the same way as the dog to get attention and affection from Kanna.

When  returned home, the donkey ran to him , wagged  his tail and started to lift his front legs. Kanna was shocked. He thought the donkey try to attack him. He pushed the away. Donkey fell.

The donkey went to back to his place . . After sometime, Kanna realized  his mistake and apologized to the donkey.

From that moment, he shared an equal affection for both of them.

Parenting takes away from the story:

  1. Build a conversation with the kid on why he or she feels the donkey had the need to imitate the dog.
  2. Another line of thought is , does blindly copying other people work? It is better to think through any situation and do what best suits you rather than blindly copy others.

The Merchant and the Bees

In a little village, on the outskirts of  Kodaikanal, a merchant was selling honey on the road side.

One jar of hney, accidently fell and brokeA lot of honey spilled on the floor. The honey merchant collected the spilt honey as much as he could.  Yet a little bit of honey stuck to the ground.

Fallen honey attracts a lot of Bees. A whole swarm flew down and sat on the spilt honey.

When the bees had had enough honey, some of the older senior flies flew away from the honey. They said to the other flies, “Enough, come . This is enough. There is danger in this”

But the younger flies were way too happy at their bumper luck to heed to the words of the older flies. Their stomachs were full but they could not leave the honey and continued to taste.

After they had quenched their full desire, they wanted to fly away. But, they couldn’t.  Their wings were stuck in the honey. They were not able to move and that was the end of them

Parenting Takeaways from the moral story:

You can talk about what the child has learnt from this short story. What are the dangers of excess.

Story Contibuted by our guest contributor Jasmine .

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