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.
opening the door to his home, he underwent an amazing transformation. His
tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave
his wife a kiss. 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.
Whereupon the farmer's
wife burst into tears of joy followed by tears of laughter. 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.
By Charlene Wexler
"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?
"Ring!" went my cell phone -- a nice, loud siren
coming from the adjoining bedroom. Can't miss it. I heard my friend Sally's
rasping voice, which was getting harder and harder to understand. I must
make her go to the doctor and get it checked. She always used to have a
soft, gentle sound. "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
Okay, focus on your situation, I tell myself. The
question is, will I drown, or just die of pain, or starvation? My mother
always said, "If there is a will, there is a way." She also said, "Man
plans, and God laughs." 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! Footnote. See more original
stories by Charlene Wexler.
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.
The Wise Farmer's Donkey
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. See the moral of our 6 blind mice elephant story.
The Eyes of Love
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.
More Short Stories with a Moral
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.
The Tale of the Cracked Pot
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.
What Do You Do All Day?
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.' Footnote: Please send us your short moral story.
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