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Top 20 Panchatantra Stories For Kids

Top 20 Panchatantra Stories For Kids

“Panchatantra is a collection of a number of short stories which were originally written in Sanskrit but translators and writers have revisited them time and again to make it more accessible to people through the ages. They are believed to be written in Sanskrit by scholar Vishnu Sharma.”

1. Stories From Mitrabedha
2. Stories From Mitralabha
3. Stories From Kákolùkïyam
4. Stories From Labdhapranásam
5. Stories From Aparïksitakára


Stories from Mitrabedha (The Separation of Friends)

The scholar decided to use storytelling as a means to instil moral values and ethics in young sons of the kings. He wrote almost 50 stories and divided them into five volumes, and hence the name Panchatantra, ‘pancha’ means five and ‘tantra’ means systems. The stories from the Mitrabheda (the Separation of Friends) can be used to teach the kids how one can lose friends.

Read Also: Panchatantra stories that you should acquaint your child with

Panchatantra Stories: The Crows and The Cobra

Once upon a time, one crow couple lived on a big banyan tree in a forest near a kingdom. In the same tree, a cobra had made his burrow. When the nest was unguarded, the ate the crows’ eggs. This happened whenever the crows left the nest in search of food. The crows went to his friend jackal for advice. The crows decided to follow the jackal’s advice and as per the advice, one of the crows went to the royal kingdom and stole the necklace belonging to the princess which was very precious. The guards followed the crow as he flew slowly to the banyan tree.

Read Also: The Crow and The Cobra | Panchatantra

The crow then dropped the necklace in the cobra’s burrow. On finding the necklace kept in the cobra’s burrow, the guards quickly killed the cobra and took back the necklace. The crows lived happily thereafter.

Moral of the Story

One should not give up. Even the most powerful enemies can be defeated with the use of wit.

Panchatantra Stories: The Lion and The Camel

Once upon a time, there lived a lion in the jungle. He lived with his three assistants- – a crow, a jackal and a leopard. Due to their proximity to the king of the jungle, the assistants had several advantages and never had to look for food. They saw a camel come into the jungle one day. They wondered what was the camel doing in the jungle rather than being in the desert. On enquiring with the camel, they learnt that the camel had lost his way. The lion gave a shelter to the camel and promised to protect him.

Read Also: Stories From Panchatantra: Four Friends and A Hunter

After a few days passed, there came a day when the lion was injured in a battle. Unable to kill a prey, the lion became weak and so did his assistants. The assistants tried convincing the king of the jungle to kill the camel for food. The lion refused because he did not want to kill an animal under his shelter. The assistants finally managed to convince the lion by hatching a plan. They ensured the camel that they would convince the camel to offer himself as food to its protector. According to the plan, the crow, the jackal and the leopard offered themselves as food to the lion one by one. They said it was their duty to serve their king. The lion did not kill any of his assistants. Seeing this, the camel also offered himself as food to the king and was immediately killed by the lion.

Moral of the Story

Beware of cunning people who usually surround powerful people for their own benefit.


Read Also: 10 Best Short Moral Stories for Kids | Inspirational Stories for Children

Panchatantra Stories: The Jackal and The Drum

Once upon a time, there lived a hungry jackal in the forest. The jackal wandered into a deserted battlefield in search of food. A battle had been fought recently in the battlefield. As the wind blew, the branches of the tree got rubbed against the drum. It made a loud noise. The battlefield had nothing but a drum. The jackal got scared hearing the loud noise and decided to hide. While he was running away, he had a second thought and he decided to look for the source of the noise. The jackal realized that the wind was causing the noise as soon as he saw the drum. He realized that it was harmless. The jackal again began his search for food near the drum. He found sufficient food and water nearby.

Read Also: The Hermit and The Mouse | Panchatantra Stories

Moral of the Story

One should not react blindly with the fear of unknown. Only the brave succeed in life.


Stories from Mitralabha (Gaining of Friends)


Enlisted are three stories from Mitralabha that you must read to your kids.

Panchatantra Stories: The Foolish Weaver

Once upon a time, a weaver lived with his wife in the village. One day, he went to the jungle to get wood so that he could repair his loom. He could not believe his eyes when he saw a genie appear in front of him while he was chopping the tree.  The genie requested the weaver to not cut his abode and in return offered to give anything that the weaver wanted. The weaver left the forest and went back home to discuss this with his wife. The dimwitted and greedy wife saw it as a golden opportunity. She told the weaver to ask the genie to give him an extra head and two extra hands so he can think more and work more.

On returning to the jungle, the weaver told him what his wish was. The genie granted the weaver’s wish immediately.  The weaver happily walked back to the village, where people thought him to be a monster and sadly, beat him to death.

Moral of the Story

Lack of proper judgement can ruin a golden opportunity.


Panchatantra Stories: Four Friends and A Hunter

Once upon a time, there were four good friends- a deer, a turtle, a crow and a rat. They all lived happily in the jungle until one day when the deer was captured in the hunter’s net. The deer’s friends planned to rescue him when they saw him lying motionless on the ground.

The turtle distracted the hunter. This made the hunter run after him and leave the deer. Meanwhile, the crow sat on the deer’s body and started pecking him (as they do to a dead animal). The rat quickly chew open the net in order to free the deer. The crow picked up the turtle, saving him from the hunter.

This way, all the friends came to each other’s rescue and became each other’s heroes.

Moral of the Story

Teamwork can help achieve great results and overcome all obstacles.


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Panchatantra Stories: The Hermit and The Mouse

Once upon a time, there was a hermit who took care of a temple in a small village. He took alms and distributed it with people who helped him take care of the temple. There was a naughty mouse in the temple who kept stealing the hermit’s food. The mouse became a big problem for the hermit. The hermit tried hard to get rid of the mouse but all his attempts were futile. The mouse was on a run, he still continued stealing the food. The mouse made a stockpile of the food he stole and was able to climb up to the earthen pot hung from the roof.

Desperate and distraught, the hermit asked his friend for a suggestion. The friend told the hermit that he should destroy the mouse’s stockpile. The hermit took his friend’s advice and burnt the stockpile after finding it. The mouse had nothing left to eat. This made forced the mouse to leave the temple. The mouse never returned to the temple.

Moral of the Story

Your friends are your best guide.


Stories From Kákolùkïyam (Of Crows And Owls)

Short Panchatantra stories – The Panchatantra stories will not only enhance your child’s imagination but also teach them something.


These stories also help in linguistic and cognitive development.

Read Also: Panchatantra Stories- Moral Stories for Kids

The Foolish Brahmin and The Crooks

Once upon a time, in a small village lived a brahmin. One day, he performed sacred ceremonies for a rich merchant and got a lamb in return. He began his journey back home, carrying the lamb on his shoulders. The three crooks see him from a distance and decide to trick him to give the lamb to them. Hungry and emaciated, one after the other, the three crooks plan to ask the Brahmin, the same question. Following the plan, the crooks ask the Brahmin that why was he carrying a dog on his back?

The brahmin got angry at the first two crooks and asked them to mind their business. But when the third crook asked the same question again, the foolish Brahmin thought that he must indeed be carrying a dog if three people have told him so. He threw the lamb off without even bothering to look at it. The Brahmin continued his journey back home and the crooks succeeded in their plan.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

A lie repeated several times, apparently becomes a truth.


The Cave That Talked

Once upon a time, there lived a hungry lion in the jungle. In search of food, he found a cave one day. He thought to himself that the cave might be home to a few animals. So, he decided to wait until he finds an animal to prey upon. He quickly hid inside the cave. The cave was a home to a jackal. When the jackal came back home, he noticed the footprints of the lion entering the came. The Jackal could not find the footprints that assured the lion’s exit from the cave. He immediately stepped back and thought of a plan to know if the lion was really inside his cave. The jackal went near the cave and started talking to the cave. He asked the cave if it was safe to enter inside.

The cave did not respond to his question. He continued asking the same question again and again. The jackal told the cave that he wouldn’t enter the cave until he got a reply. The lion heard the jackal speaking. The lion replied like the cave at the fear of losing his prey. The jackal knew at once that the lion is inside the cave and ran far away from the cave.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

One should always use their mind at its best. It can help you find a way out of the most difficult situations.


Elephants and Hares

Once upon a time, a herd of mighty elephants lived in a dense forest. The herd of the elephant would use their strength to torment other animals living in the forest. They always occupied the little pond in the jungle. There lived a bunch of rabbits nearby in a bush. The elephants made it impossible for the hares to drink water from the pond. The hares assembled to chalk out a strategy to keep the elephants away from the pond. They decide to teach the elephants a lesson. The king of the hares went to the elephant king and presented their problem. The elephant king snubbed him.

Read Also: Children and Moral Values

The hare king then warned the elephant that the moon, the god of the pond is highly disappointed with the behaviour of the elephants. He also tells the elephant king that he was sent by the moon god as his messenger. The elephant refused to trust the hare and walked with him to the pond to rectify what the hare was saying. The hare took the elephant to the pond on a full moon night. When the elephant walked towards the pond, he saw the reflection of the moon. The elephant thought that moon god has descended to the pond to show his rage. The elephant then promised the hare that his herd wouldn’t be a problem anymore for the hares.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Being witty is more important than being mighty.


Of Crows and Owls

Once upon a time, the birds of the jungle were disappointed in their king, Garuda. They gathered for a meeting to discuss what to do about the king who is too busy to protect them. The crows did not show up at the meeting. The birds decided to elect their new king. All of them came up with reasons why should he/she come to power. After a lot of discussions, the birds agreed that the owl can see at night and should be made the king.

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But on the day of the coronation, a crow who known to be very wise came. He asked the birds why did they appoint the ugly owl as their king. On hearing the reason for their choice, the crow pointed out the flaws in the owl. The crow told the birds that though the owl can see at night but he can’t protect the birds in the day. He suggested that Garuda should remain the king. The birds reconsidered their decision and cancelled the coronation. The owl was left disappointed and was feeling betrayed. He then declared that owls and crows shall never be friends. When the crow was left alone for thinking, he was in deep regret of the decision that he had made.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Do not offer advice unless you have been requested upon.

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The Thief, The Brahmin And The Demon

Once upon a time, a poor Brahmin and a rich merchant lived in a village. The Brahmin was so poor that he was unable to fetch two square meals for himself. The rich merchant was moved by the plight of the poor Brahmin. He decided to give two calves to the Brahmin. The Brahmin took care of the calves and raised them with great care. The calves became strong bullocks. The brahmin ploughed his land with the help of these bullocks and was able to meet his needs.

Read Also: 5 Moral Values for Kids – A Child Must Have

There were a thief and a demon in the same village who had eyes on the bullocks. Both of them wanted the bullocks for themselves. One night when the thief came to steal the bullocks, he noticed that the demon was already there. Both of them got into an argument about who should have the animals. Their argument woke the Brahmin up from sleep. The Brahmin started chanting a sacred mantra and the demon disappeared. The demon flew away. Seeing the demon fly away, the thief also ran from the Brahmin’s house.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

When two people fight, the third person always gets the benefit.


Stories from Labdhapranásam (Loss of Gains)

The stories from Labdhapranásam (Loss of Gains) can help kids understand that with wit, one can win any battle. It is always possible to get out of every situation without losing anything.

The Story of the Potter

Once upon a time, there lived a poor potter in a small village. One night, he stumbled over a few pots and got hurt. The accident left a big scar on his forehead. The potter’s village was affected by famine and he along with his friends moved to another village. In the new village, he managed to get into the king’s court. Seeing the scar on his forehead, the king assumed that the potter was a brave warrior. He decided to include the potter in his army and made him an important member of his court.

One day the king asked his soldiers to gear up and go fight the war. He asked the potter to lead the army. The potter was afraid to fight the war, so he told the king how he got the scar. The king got angry and thought of punishing the potter. The potter pleaded in front of the king. The potter understood it was better for him to leave the king’s court.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Never judge a book by its cover. External appearances can sometimes be deceptive.

Read Also: Top 6 Short Panchatantra Stories for Kids

The Lion and The Foolish Donkey

Once upon a time, a lion lived with his assistant jackal in the jungle. The lion and the jackal used to kill a prey and survive together. The jackal served the lion in whatever he did. His work was to please the lion. In lieu of that, the jackal was giving all sorts of services to the lion.

One day after a fight with the elephant, the lion got injured badly. Unable to hunt anymore, the lion and the jackal were starving from hunger. The jackal thought of a plan to get an animal to their cave so that the lion could kill the prey. The jackal found a donkey grazing in a field nearby. He tried to gain the trust of the donkey by asking him why was he so weak. The donkey replied that his owner tortures him. The jackal convinced the donkey to come with him to a place wherein the donkey will find a lot of green grass and female donkeys as well. As soon as they reached the lion’s cave. The lion tried to kill the donkey but the donkey ran away to save his life. The jackal and the lion decided on luring the donkey again to their trap.

When the jackal tried to approach the donkey for the second time, the donkey was agitated. The jackal again succeeded in fooling the donkey by telling him that what he thought was a lion was actually a female donkey. The donkey fell into the trap again. This time, the lion was able to kill the donkey. In the end, the jackal and the lion feasted upon the donkey.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Wit is always superior to brute force.

Read Also: Panchatantra Stories – Stories from Mitralabha (Gaining of Friends)

The Cobra and The King OF Frogs

Once upon a time, there lived a frog along with his relatives in the well. The frog king was always insulted by his relatives. Fed up of his relatives, he decides to get rid of them. One day he left his well and moved to another well. There he had a chance encounter with a cobra. The cobra was hungry and was craving to kill the frog. The frog king invented a plan and made a deal with the cobra. He invited the cobra to the well where his relatives lived. He thought this as a perfect opportunity to get rid of his relatives.

The frog king assumed that the cobra will only prey on his enemy frogs. After some time, cobra killed all the enemy frogs of the frog king. The frog king thought that the cobra would now leave the well. The cobra was in not mood leaving the well and started killing the leftover frogs. Finally, a day came when the frog king was the only frog left in the well

The frog king was again able to convince the cobra not to kill the last frog in the well. He convinced the frog that he would get frogs from the other well. The frog king escaped from the well and never came back.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Your enemy’s enemy is not your friend in disguise.


Stories from Aparïksitakárakam (Imprudence)


The Musical Donkey

Once upon a time, there was a donkey that worked for a washerman. The donkey carried loads during the night and was set free to graze in the nearby fields at night. One night, while grazing he meets a jackal and they think of working together. They became friends. Both of them used to meet every night and would get food from nearby farms while the farmers slept. The donkey fed on vegetables whereas the jackal attacked the farmer’s poultry.

The donkey loved singing. One night, when they were stealing vegetables, the donkey expressed his desire to sing. The jackal rebuked donkey’s plan. He warned him that singing while stealing vegetables from a farm is not a wise idea. The donkey did not listen to the advice by the jackal and started singing. His song woke the farmers up. The jackal ran to save his life while the donkey was beaten up with sticks.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

There is always a right time and place for everything.

Read Also: What are the examples of AABB rhyme scheme in kids’ poetry?

The Mongoose and The Brahmin’s Wife

Once upon a time, in a village, there lived a Brahmin’s family. The Brahmin, his wife, and his baby boy lived in their small house. They had a pet mongoose. The little boy and the pet played together and were very fond of each other. One day, when the brahmin was busy in the fields, his wife let the little boy in the cradle and went to the market. While the mongoose was guarding the baby, he saw the cobra entering the house. As soon as the mongoose saw the snake come near the boy’s cradle, he quickly attacked him and killed him.

When the mongoose welcomed the Brahmin’s wife with blood all over his mouth. The Brahmin’s wife panicked and thought that the mongoose had killed the baby. She immediately lifted her stick and beat the mongoose up until he was dead. When she went inside, she found that the baby was sleeping peacefully in his cradle.

She repented her action and realized her mistake.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

One should always think before acting. Do not act in haste.


The Lion That Sprang to Life

Once upon a time, four brahmin friends lived in a village. Three of them had in-depth knowledge of the holy scriptures. The fourth one was not very well versed with the scriptures. They decided to come into the eyes of the king with the display of the knowledge. The went to the king’s court and took their dimwitted fourth friend with them.

On their way to the king’s court, they saw something lying on the ground. Boasting their skills, all of them started guessing what it was. It was the carcass of a lion. The three learned brahmins decided that with the use of their skills, they will bring the lion back to life. The fourth friend requested not to make the dead lion alive and pointed out that it can be a dangerous idea. None of them listened to him. The fourth friend quickly climbed the tree before the three learned brahmins started executing their plan. The three brothers were extremely glad by seeing that their plan actually worked. But as soon as the lion came back to life, he killed the three learned Brahmins and ate them.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Knowledge without common sense is useless.

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The Tale of Two Fishes and A Frog

Once upon a time, there lived many fishes and a frog in a pond. All of them were very good friends. They all played happily in the pond. They were together all the time. One day, two fishermen came to their pond and laid their eyes on the fishes. They decided to come the next day to catch the fishes.  The friends overheard two fishermen talking. The frog suggested that they should leave this pond and move to another pond. The fishes refused to leave. Seeing this the frog couple decided to go away from the pond to save its life.

The fishes thought that they could easily fool the fishermen with their swimming tricks. Next day, both the fishes were caught into the fisherman’s trap. They tried to escape but in vain.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

Safety comes first, don’t be overconfident in the face of danger.


The Bird with Two Heads

Once upon a time, a strange bird lived on a tree. The bird had two heads. Each head had a mind of its own. Each head would happily cooperate with the other head for the survival of the bird. The bird lived a very normal life. One day while the heads saw a fruit on the other tree. Both the heads found the fruit to be very exotic. The heads started fighting. Both the heads wanted the fruit for himself. One of the heads suggested that they should not fight and instead give the fruit to the wife.

Although the other head agreed, he was not happy. The other head decided to teach a lesson to the first head. On finding a poisonous fruit on a tree, the other head offered it to the first head. The first head consumed it happily. The bird died immediately after consuming the fruit, leaving both the minds useless.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

This story has two morals: Being in a state of two minds is dangerous. And, every part of the body is important – loss of even can harm the whole body.

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The Brahmin’s Dream

Once upon a time, there lived a poor Brahmin in a village. He was all alone and had no relatives and friends. He begged for his living and sometimes he had to go without food for many days. One day, he received an earthen pot full of porridge by a generous person. He took the pot home carefully and hung it beside his bed. The Brahmin lay on the bed and fell asleep. He soon started dreaming and dreamt that his village was affected by a famine. He dreamt of having exchanged his pot for a hundred gold coins.

The Brahmin kept on dreaming and dreamt that with the hundred gold coins, he brought a pair of cows and goats. He dreamt of making more money by trading milk. He also dreamt of marrying a rich merchant’s daughter. In his dream, he sees himself relaxing at home when a group of kids would disturb him. He tried to scare the kids away in his sleep by a stick. He starts waving the stick around.

The brahmin wakes up immediately realizing that he had destroyed the only food he had. He repented his actions.

Short Panchatantra Stories: Moral of the Story

One should not build castles in the air.


Beautifully illustrated, ‘Vishnu Sharma’s Complete Illustrated Panchatantra’ will be the ideal addition to a child’s library.