The Story of How the Squirrel got its stripes

Short Story for kids  From the Ramayana

Here in a story from the Ramayana. Lord Rama and his army of monkeys were preparing to go to war with Ravana. Rama asked his army to build the bridge over the sea. Work began at once on a stone bridge.

The monkeys pulled out rocks and heavy stones from the mountains and carried them to the sea. They cut them into shape and began to build the bridge. All this was very difficult work and it took a long time. Thousands of monkeys worked night and day.

Rama felt happy. “How hard they work! Their love for me makes them work like this,” thought Rama.

One day, Rama saw a small brown squirrel. He was going up and down the seashore with little pebbles in his mouth. The little squirrel could carry only little pebbles at a time in his small mouth. He carried the pebbles from the seashore and dropped them into fill the gap on stone bridge.

A great big monkey saw the squirrel and asked, “What are you doing here?”.

 “I’m helping Rama build the bridge. And I want to work hard for him.” The squirrel replied.

“You, what?” shouted the monkey and laughed aloud. “Did you hear that!” he said to the other monkeys. “The squirrel is building a bridge with his pebbles. Oh dear! Oh dear! I’ve never heard a funnier story.” The other monkeys laughed too.

The squirrel did not think this funny at all. He said, “Look, I can’t carry mountains or rocks. God gave me only a little strength. I can only carry pebbles. I’ll do all I can for him.”

The monkeys said, “Don’t be foolish. Do you think you can help Rama? Do you think we can build a bridge with pebbles? He has a big army to help him. Go home and don’t get in our way.”

“But I want to help, too,” said the squirrel and he would not go.

He carried the pebbles again from the shore to the bridge.

.Lord Rama witnessed this and he said, “Do not make fun of the weak and the small. Your strength or what you do is not important. This little squirrel has love in his heart. You are brave, big and strong and are doing a wonderful job bringing all these huge boulders and stones from far and dropping them in the ocean .But did you notice that it is the tiny pebbles and stones brought by this small squirrel and some of the other smaller creatures which are filling the small gaps left between the huge stones. The tiny grains of sand brought by this squirrel are the ones which bind the whole structure and make it strong? Yet you laugh at this sincere squirrel”

Hearing this, the Vanaras were ashamed, and bowed down their heads.

Rama continued, “Always remember, however small, every task is equally important. A project can never be completed by the main people alone. They need the support of all, and however small, an effort should always be appreciated!”

Rama then turned to the squirrel and said softly, “My dear squirrel, I am sorry for the hurt caused to you by my army, and thank you for the help you have rendered to me. Please go and continue your work happily.” Saying this, he gently stroked the back of the squirrel with his fingers, and three lines appeared where the Lord’s fingers had touched it.

Since then, the squirrels have carried white stripes on their body.

Moral of the story

No task and service, however small, is unimportant! Every task should be looked upon as service to the Lord, and his blessings will always be with us. We should never forget that love and dedication is what matters.

Parenting Take Away:

This is a great story to help kids realize the importance of kindness to those smaller and weaker than us. It makes realize that we should respect all people who render service to us.

It also makes us think deeply on how we react when we see a problem.  The best way to solve a problem is by doing something about it. We often look at problems and get overwhelmed at the size of the problem and fail to do our bit. Never let the size of the problem cower you.Do your bit and things usually fall in place.

These Short Stories for kids are curated by team ekdali with the aim to build screen free conversations in families.  Do check our products, they are designed to help in conversation building with kids.