Moral Short Stories
Moral Short Stories
Paresh, an Indian carpenter I once hired to help me restore my old farmhouse had just finished a difficult and hard first day on the job. A flat tyre on his lorry made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw packed in, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, Paresh sat in stony, thoughtful silence.
On arriving, Paresh, in the way of all Indian gentlefolk, invited me in
to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at
a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
After a cup of tea, he walked me to my car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
'Oh, that's my trouble tree,' Paresh replied. 'I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again. Funny thing is', he smiled winningly, 'when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.'
The Rescuer - A Tale of Psychology
Here is the situation, Jenny the farmer's wife looks out of her window. What does she see but a bull in a field caught his head in between the bars of a feeder.
Jenny calls the fire brigade. Their siren only makes the bull more agitated. When they appraise the situation they realise they are not equipped to deal with cattle, so they phone for the RSPCA inspector to help free the animal.
Six hefty firemen and the inspector push and pull the beast and eventually they wrestle its head from between the bars.
The bull was, by now, very angry and turned snorting at the men and began to attack them.
Fearing for their life, they hide in the animal feeder.
Jenny was now able to rescue the rescuers. All she did was get the bull's old milk bottle, half fill it with milk, put on the teat, and use it to lead the bull from the animal feeder into the farmyard and close the gate.
Chinese Parable of the Lost Axe by Lie Zi
A man who lost his axe suspected his neighbour's son of stealing it. To him, as he observed the boy, the way the lad walked, the expression on his face, the manner of his speech - in fact everything about his appearance and behaviour betrayed that he had stolen the axe.
Not long afterwards the man found his axe while digging in his cellar. When he saw his neighbour's son again, nothing about the boy's behaviour nor appearance seemed to suggest that he had stolen the axe.
"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up," I yelled. Oh My God I sound like that silly commercial, I thought.
I took a deep breath, leaned my right hand on the pink tile floor of the bathroom, and tried to pick myself up. An excruciating pain radiated down my hip and through my leg, making it impossible for me to move. Hot, wet tears flowed down my face. I wiped my eyes with my left hand. The slightest movement felt like someone was sticking big, sharp, serrated knives into me.
Okay, time to assess my situation. I had taken a bath in my enormous beautiful pink tub with the Jacuzzi, and had slipped on the floor on the way out. It was a stupid of me to take that bath before leaving for the airport. It was the thought of spending a week in hotel showers -- and I had to change my clothes anyway, right? -- that lured me into the tub.
That darn hand shaking gets me in trouble all the time. Earlier, I went and spilled spaghetti sauce on my blouse. I should have thrown out the leftovers. My mother had done a number on me decades ago. Starving children syndrome.
Damn, it hurts to even move my head. My whole right side is in bad shape.
Too bad I don't have that thing around my neck from the commercial. I wonder
if it really works?
"Annie, have a great time at the conference," I heard her say.
"Help, help!" I screamed. The phone went dead. Why hadn't I taken the cell or landline phone into the bathroom with me? Oh, what's the difference -- with my luck I would have dropped it in the water and gotten electrocuted.
I really miss Jack. If he hadn't died I wouldn't be alone in this house. Now, I can scream all day and no–one will hear me. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a noise? It sure does. The closest neighbor is two acres away and all my friends think I'm on my way to a writing conference in California. Not like the old days when we lived in apartments on top of each other and everybody knew when you took a pee.
My only hope is a burglar, though he would probably steal the necklace off of me, plus everything else in the house and leave me sitting here to die.
Even the cat went and died on me. What good would the cat be anyway? He would just run away and hide. Cats are smart. They take care of themselves first. Now if I had a dog he would stay and go down with the ship with me. Stupid dogs. Too loyal.
Speaking of going down with the ship, I never turned the tub faucet off, and that water is getting high. Jack, my husband -- may he rest in peace -- always told me if I didn't learn to swim I'd drown in the pool. I'll show him; I'll drown in the bathroom instead.
I can see the headlines: "Crazy old lady leaves the tub water flowing and drowns." I remember when my grandmother forgot to turn the tub water off, and the bathroom flooded. The neighbor downstairs came upstairs screaming about the water coming through her ceiling. She and my dad yelled at each other for at least 20 minutes, which wasn't unusual since my dad and the neighbor were brother and sister. It was the family building. Now, everyone lives in a different state. But they have Facebook to connect them, which certainly doesn't help when the tub is overflowing.
Nobody will notice me gone. A few birds might be upset; no food in the feeders. My daughter will keep saying, "I told her to sell the house and go into a retirement place, where someone would check on her all the time." Moving hadn't helped my mother-in-law. She died some time during the night. They found her sitting upright with the television on and the remote in her hand. I still wonder what television program gave her that heart attack. But they found her relatively quickly. I could be laying here dead for a week. Dead is dead!
I really miss Jack. Though once the grief receded, I must admit it hasn't been that bad being mistress of my own life -- getting up and going to bed at my leisure, eating whatever pleases me, spending money without scrutiny.
The water is slipping over the tub. It is cold too. Yes, I could die. I started to laugh. My mother always told me to wear clean underwear in case I was in an accident. When they rescue me they will find a naked, wrinkled, flabby old lady without clean underwear, and my mother will be mortified, even in the afterlife. Maybe I could reach the soft blue towel to cover me.
Ah, oh, my God, I can't move. The pain is bad. Maybe I broke something. I reach out and touch the soaked towel. I try, but I can't move it closer. With all that water, it weighs a ton.
If I knew I was going to die tonight, what would I have done differently -- call my family and friends and tell them how much I loved them? Actually, I probably would have cleaned up the house so they wouldn't say "look at this mess," and then I would eat all the chocolate I could find. A nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate would be wonderful now. If I made it to the writing conference I could just call room service. Too bad.
Who knows what I would have done? One never believes something tragic will happen to them. That is why we slow down for traffic at an accident, or listen intently to the news. "Look what happened to them; thank God it wasn't me!" We can think that, but we don't ever say it to anybody.
Nobody is going to rescue me. Most of my friends are dead, and the living ones can't drive at night. There have been too many funerals when you make it to your eighties. It is up to me to move towards the door, and rescue myself.
Again the phone rang. I swallowed hard as I listened to the message from my neighbor, "Oh, Anna, I forgot you were going to a conference."
I screamed," No, no, I need help. Please come over." The phone went dead. Why was I screaming? If Mildred were sitting next to me she couldn't hear anyway. The woman never wore her hearing aid. The one she told everyone cost her son a fortune.
I shivered as I watched the round bar of white soap slip over the tub
with the cascading water, like a boat going over a waterfall. Kind of neat
I looked up through the window and asked, "So God, are you laughing?" An enormous boom answered my question. Maybe it was my plane flying by. A flash of lightning confirmed it was thunder. A second rumble made the curtains in the window flutter from the vibration. At least I won't have to water the lawn, I thought. If this storm keeps up, though, the lights will probably go out. I'd better make my move.
Sharp shards of pain flooded my body as I slowly inched towards the door. I reached my trembling hand up to open the gold, round handle and stopped. If I opened the door the water would flow into my bedroom and ruin my carpet.
Crazy old lady, I said to myself. Die or ruin the carpet? It is an interesting question. I've had a pretty good 82 years, and the carpet was relatively new. Got that new blue carpet when Jack died. He wouldn't get it. Always said nobody will buy a house with blue carpet.
Then I thought of my grandchildren, and with all my energy I turned the knob and pushed open the door. Just a little slide more would put me in reach of my cell phone. 911 here I come!
Wet carpet or no, I decided to live. After all, what a great story this would make at the next writing conference!
If you don't see the topic that you are interested in try our 'Search' box because we have a large selection of inspirational tales, and honourable stories of good triumphing over evil. Also here are more of our moral short stories.
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn't worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbours to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well.
At first, when the donkey realized what was happening he cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down and let out some happy brays. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up.
As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, to everyone's amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.
Will and Guy consider that the moral of this tale is: Life is going to shovel dirt on you. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Through applying wisdom every adversity can be turned into a stepping stone. The way to get out of the deepest well is by never giving up but by shaking yourself off and taking a step up.
The moral is what happens to you isn't nearly as important as how you react to it.
A grandmother and a little girl whose face was sprinkled with bright red freckles spent the day at the zoo. The children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.
'You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!' a boy in the line cried.
Embarrassed, the little girl dropped her head. Her grandmother knelt down next to her. 'I love your freckles,' she said.
'Not me,' the girl replied.
'Well, when I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,' she said, tracing her finger across the child's cheek. 'Freckles are beautiful!'
The girl looked up. 'Really?'
'Of course,' said the grandmother. 'Why, just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles.'
The little girl peered into the old woman's smiling face. 'Wrinkles,' she answered softly.
Here are tales which made Will and Guy stop and think. They are of solice in times when life stops running smoothly, and even ordinary tasks seem an uphill struggle.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. 'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.' The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?
That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' 'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.' Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'
Each of us has our own unique flaw...
But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
To all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers, on your side of the path. Take the time to absorb this inspirational Chinese proverb.
Patrick came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front garden.
The door of his wife, Valerie's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the hall, Patrick found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the rug was piled up against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the worktop, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
Patrick quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for Valerie. He was worried she might be ill, collapsed, that something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and sink.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found Valerie still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
Patrick looked at Valerie, bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?'
Valerie again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me sarcastically what in the world I do all day?'
'Yes,' was Patrick's startled reply.
Valerie answered, 'Well, today, I didn't do it.'
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