Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Animals in stories can help make lessons fun and relatable to kids.

Little children learn through avenues available to them; stories are one of the most accessible mediums of education. For centuries, tales told to kids have been of adventure and fantasy. They are how parents pass on their culture and tradition to their children. These tales often also help adults educate children by embedding morals in them.

The knowledge parents impart to children is one of the essential jobs grown-ups can have as parents. Using animals or inanimate objects in stories can help make these lessons relatable and fun for kids. Children’s animal stories are filled with wisdom that can be articulated coherently and understandably for parents to impart experiences to kids. 

Here are excellent short stories about animals with lessons to help shape children’s moral compass.

1. The Hare And The Tortoise. This is a tale of a hare and a tortoise. The hare dares the tortoise to a race, mocking it for being slow-moving. The hare leaves the tortoise behind, is confident of its triumph, and falls asleep midway through the race. Once he awakes, he finds that his competitor has arrived before him, crawling slowly but steadily.

Moral: When the hare reached the race endpoint, all the animals laughed at him as the tortoise defeated him. That day, he learned that bragging about something doesn’t win you recognition. Hence it would help if you never mocked others at their own pace. Take your time with a task and ensure you see it through without letting your head swell up. Sometimes patience and a slow pace are better tools to face a challenge.

2. A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing. This story follows a wolf who desires to eat a sheep from a sheep farm. Unable to do so, he finds some abandoned sheep skin and wears it to camouflage with the rest of the herd. The shepherd went out and picked the first sheep he could find, which happened to be the wolf disguised in sheepskin. Thus, the wolf that the shepherd mistook for a sheep was killed and eaten by them. The story tells its readers what happens due to the wolf’s actions.

Moral: The story teaches kids that the evil doer often comes to harm through his deceit. This means that a person who does evil gets damaged in return through their method. The meaning of this story is obvious. If the wolf did not disguise himself as a sheep, the shepherd would’ve not mistaken him for a sheep, and he wouldn’t have been eaten. Hence, it would help if you did not do evil to others as the evil will come back to you like you tried to harm others. Also, appearances can be deceptive, and one must never take circumstances or people at face value. Self-preservation can go a long way. 

3. The Crow and The Pitcher. A tale everyone grew up with. In a spell of drought, when the birds could find almost nothing to drink, a Crow found a pitcher filled with a bit of water. But the pitcher had a narrow neck and was high, and no matter how hard he tried, the Crow could not drink the water. Thinking of dying thirsty, an idea came to him. Getting some small pebbles, he dropped them one by one into the pitcher. With each stone, the water rose a little higher until, finally, it was near enough so he could drink. The crow uses his resourcefulness and ingenuity to solve his problem and fly away a happy bird.

Moral: Do not give up at the very first sign of a hurdle. Use whatever you have around you to solve your problems and achieve your goals and dreams.

4. The Ladybug and The Bully Frog. The story is about a community of friends who can’t play at the pond because of the bully Milton the Frog. Clover, the Rabbit, calls on Mrs. Ladybug’s help, and they search Solomon’s wisdom, the Snail, to deal with the problem – helping Milton see that he is being mean. In the entire community near the pond, only one equal can bring the Mighty Wondrous Voice of Love news to Milton, who is terrorizing everyone, and that is the tiny little Ladybug called Dot. This book is authored by Caroleann Rice, a mother, grandmother, and chaplain, a minister to a Wednesday night prayer group called “The Women of the Well, “which has been regularly held at her home for 14 years. More recently, as the author of The Song of Solomon the Snail, she enjoys writing, making every character come alive to share a message of overcoming struggles and challenges. Rice’s life journey has led her to become an overcomer of many challenges.

Moral: The importance of fellowship, acceptance, and kindness to one another. Also, the peaceful means to resolve conflicts by possessing the virtues of patience, tolerance, and love. 

Thought To Ponder

Many kids prefer animal stories as they find them more engaging. It is easy for kids to imagine and visualize enjoyable and quirky animal characters. Also, the animal stories for children cover various topics, both fun, and learning, that fascinate them and teach valuable lessons simultaneously that could help them as they grow older.

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