Children’s folktales, fables, fairy tales and legends
The best of children’s folktales, fables, animal lore, folklore, myths, fairy tales and legends from around the world! Discover our collected tales for kids from India, China, Burma and many other countries… Some of these tales will make you think, some will make you laugh, some will make you wonder, but almost all of them have hidden wisdom for you to discover!
Long ago, there lived a craftsman called Intupwa. Intupwa was an unhappy man because he tried, and failed, to cut wood with sharp stones. Then one day he dreamt of something better called iron. So he began his search for it.
From ‘When the World was Young’, by Verrier Elwin. The book is a fascinating collection of folktales from the tribal peoples of India. Elwin was a pioneering anthropologist; he spent his entire life getting to know the ways of life of the tribal peoples.
A family of crabs lived on the shores of a giant blue sea. They frolicked in the sands and ate mussels, clams and other small sea creatures. One day the mother crab saw a beautiful crane walking about in the sand, a straight graceful walk in its long reed-like legs.
A temple was being built in a town. There were many different workmen busy with their work. The masons were building the walls. The sculptor was finishing the idols. And the carpenters were making wooden frames from logs of wood.
Shebu and Moonmoon, the Long Haired Goat [Illustrations by Kusum Chamoli] “Bajai,” as we called grandmother, was the best storyteller in the whole world, says Madhu Gurung. She lived in the foothills of Mussoorie in a tiny village called Johri Gaun.
A wandering youth once met Bholu, an illiterate villager, who knew how to perform a miracle. Everyday Bholu would go into the forest, stand under a mango tree and utter a charm. The tree would immediately become heavy with fruit.
Gopu the donkey was happily going munch munch on an extremely green patch of grass right in the heart of the meadow. So intent was Gopu on eating, that he did not hear anyone approaching until he looked up and gave an involuntary shiver.
There lived a wolf called Lalu in the Himalayan forests. Lalu was very mean and selfish. He thought only about himself and none of the other animals liked him.
The rest of the wolf pack also avoided meeting him.
In the village of Sholingur in Tamil Nadu, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman. The temple is on top of a small hill. In and around the hill in the thick forest live a group of monkeys.
Retold from ‘When the World was Young’ by Verrier Elwin
When God created humans, he forgot to add eyes so that they could see. Most people had a very tough time as a result. They couldn’t walk without tumbling and tripping over each other.
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