Inspiration: Folk Tales & Stories

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Now you must know that a Town Mouse once upon a time went on a visit to his cousin in the country. He was rough and ready, this cousin, but he loved his town friend and made him heartily welcome. Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all he had to offer, but he...

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Fire, Water, Truth and Lies

Fire, Water, Truth and Lies

A Folk Tale from Ethiopia Fire, Water, Truth and Lies were friends, but Lies wasn’t too happy about this and he wanted to destroy the harmony. So one day he said, “Why don’t we go together and look for free places so that each of us will have a kingdom of his own? So...

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He...

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The Citizen of the World

The Citizen of the World

A Story from the Jewish Tradition The Holy One gathered the dust for the creation of the first man from the four corners of the earth, The Spirit of Life asked God why did He do this. The Holy One replied, "If a man should chance to come from the East to the West, or...

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Tough on the Fish

Tough on the Fish

A devout clergyman sought every opportunity to impress upon the mind of his son the fact that God takes care of all his creatures. Happening, one day, to see a crane wading in quest of food, the good man pointed out to his son the perfect adaptation of the crane to...

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The Great Fire and the Little Water

The Great Fire and the Little Water

Among the Aztec people of Mexico, it is said that a long time ago there was a great fire in the forests that covered our Earth. People and animals started to run, trying to escape from the fire. Our brother owl, Tecolotl, was running away also when he noticed a small...

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A Fable, by Mark Twain

A Fable, by Mark Twain

Once upon a time an artist who had painted a small and very beautiful picture placed it so that he could see it in the mirror. He said, "This doubles the distance and softens it, and it is twice as lovely as it was before." The animals out in the woods heard of this...

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Ten Jugs of Wine

Ten Jugs of Wine

A Tale from Japan Ten men decided to celebrate the New Year with a big crock of hot sake wine. Since none of them could provide for all, they each agreed to bring one jug of wine for the large heating bowl. On the way to his wine cellar, each one thought, “My wine is...

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A Precious Stone

A Precious Stone

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to...

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The Worried Mouse

The Worried Mouse

There was a mouse who was always in anguish because he was afraid of the cat. A magician had compassion of him and converted him into... a cat. But then he started to feel afraid of the dog. So the magician changed him into a dog. Then he started to feel afraid of the...

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The Feather Pillow

The Feather Pillow

A young man spread a false rumor about an old man who lived at the end of his street. Overcome with guilt, he worked up the courage to apologize. He humbly walked to the old man’s door and said he was sorry. The wise old man looked at him. He said that he would...

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The Old Apple Tree

The Old Apple Tree

This is an intriguing story with many applications in contemporary politics. The animals state a case for compassion and justice; the farmer does not care, until he sees a glimmer of self-interest. The result is the same — the tree is saved — so does his motivation...

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Inspiration

Inspiration

If you look at the category tags on most of our blog posts, the word you will most often see is "inspiration." There is a reason for that. The word "inspiration" comes from the Latin inspirare "blow into, breathe upon." The meaning is deeper than that, though: it...

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The Injured Swan

The Injured Swan

Prince Siddhartha saw the wild swans one day, flying white as clouds over the palace. His cousin took a bow, drew back the string, and let an arrow fly. One swan fell. Both boys ran, and the prince came first to the place where the swan lay. She was still alive. He...

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Li-li and Her Mother-in-Law

Li-li and Her Mother-in-Law

A Chinese girl named Li-li got married and lived with her mother-in-law. Since the mother-in-law was obnoxious, Li-li decided to kill her. Li-li went to her doctor to get slow-acting poison. The doctor said, “Just so that people don’t suspect you, treat your...

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What Color is a Chameleon?

What Color is a Chameleon?

Two men were arguing about what color a chameleon is. One said, “It is brown. I saw it on a tree a week ago, and I am sure of its color.” The other replied, “No. I saw it on a leaf yesterday, and it was green. I am sure about this.”As they debated, a third man...

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The Cocoon

The Cocoon

A story from Islam A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it...

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The Cracked Water Pot

The Cracked Water Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the...

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

A boy called Peter lived with his parents in a village on the hillside. His parents, like most of the other people in the village, were sheep farmers. Everybody in the village took turns to look after the sheep, and when Peter was 10 years old, he was considered old...

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The Black Dot

The Black Dot

One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin. The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he...

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The Bundle of Sticks

The Bundle of Sticks

A father had a famîly of sons who were always quarrelîng among themselves. When he faîled to solve theîr fîghts wîth hîs advîce, he decîded to gîve them a practîcal îllustratîon of the evîls of dîsunîon; and for thîs purpose he one day told them to brîng hîm a bundle...

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