Inspiration: Folk Tales & Stories

Fable: The Camel and the Ass

Fable: The Camel and the Ass

A Persian Fable A CAMEL and an Ass were once traveling together. Upon reaching the bank of a river the Camel was the first to enter the water. As it rose somewhat above his knees, but barely touched his body, he called to his companion: "Follow me in, for the water...

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Fable: The Otter and the Jackal

Fable: The Otter and the Jackal

a folk tale from India ONCE upon a time two Otters whose names were Gambhiracari and Anutiracari, were standing on the bank of a river, on the lookout for fish. Presently Gambhiracari saw a large Rohita fish, and with one bound he dived into the water and caught it by...

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Fable: The Father and His Two Daughters

Fable: The Father and His Two Daughters

A MAN had two daughters, the one married to a gardener, and the other to a tile-maker. After a time he went to the daughter who had married the gardener, and inquired how she was and how all things went with her. She said, ‘All things are prospering with me, and I...

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Fable: The Man and the Satyr

Fable: The Man and the Satyr

A Man and a Satyr became friends, and determined to live together. All went well for a while, until one day in winter-time the Satyr saw the Man blowing on his hands. ‘Why do you do that?’ he asked. ‘To warm my hands,’ said the Man. That same day, when they sat down...

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Fable: Abdul Aziz and the Pearl

Fable: Abdul Aziz and the Pearl

a folk tale from India THE story is told of Abdul Aziz that he had a pearl of great beauty and value, set in a ring. Shortly afterwards there came a dry season, the crops failed, and there was great suffering among his people. Moved by compassion the King ordered that...

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Ask the Horse

Ask the Horse

A Zen Tale A horse suddenly came galloping quickly down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go. Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, "Where are you going?" and the man on the horse replied, "I don't know! Ask the...

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The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

One cold stormy day a Goatherd drove his Goats for shelter into a cave, where a number of Wild Goats had also found their way. The Shepherd wanted to make the Wild Goats part of his flock; so he fed them well. But to his own flock, he gave only just enough food to...

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Fable: The Astrologer

Fable: The Astrologer

A man who lived a long time ago believed that he could read the future in the stars. He called himself an Astrologer, and spent his time at night gazing at the sky. One evening he was walking along the open road outside the village. His eyes were fixed on the stars....

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The Ass and the Load of Salt

The Ass and the Load of Salt

A Merchant, driving his Ass homeward from the seashore with a heavy load of salt, came to a river crossed by a shallow ford. They had crossed this river many times before without accident, but this time the Ass slipped and fell when halfway over. And when the Merchant...

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The Monkey and the Apples

The Monkey and the Apples

There once was a happy monkey. He wandered through the jungle, happy to be alive. He stopped to eat delicious fruit when he was hungry, and resting when he was tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each...

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Juno and the Peacock

Juno and the Peacock

The Peacock was greatly discontented because he had not a beautiful voice like the nightingale, and he went and complained to Juno about it. “The nightingale’s song,” said he, “is the envy of all the birds; but whenever I utter a sound I become a laughing-stock.” The...

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The Oak and the Reeds

The Oak and the Reeds

A Fable by Aesop An Oak that grew on the bank of a river was uprooted by a severe gale of wind, and thrown across the stream. It fell among some Reeds growing by the water, and said to them, “How is it that you, who are so frail and slender, have managed to weather...

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The Gnat and the Bull

The Gnat and the Bull

An Aesop's Fable A Gnat alighted on one of the horns of a Bull, and remained sitting there for a considerable time. When it had rested sufficiently and was about to fly away, it said to the Bull, “Do you mind if I go now?” The Bull merely raised his eyes and remarked,...

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What’s in Your Cup?, by Thich Nhat Hanh

What’s in Your Cup?, by Thich Nhat Hanh

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? “Well because someone bumped into me, of course!” Wrong answer. You spilled the coffee because there...

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I Want What You Have

I Want What You Have

A Buddhist monk was walking barefoot down a dusty road when he stepped on something sharp. It stuck in his heel, so after a few steps he stopped to pull it out. Lo and behold! It was a very beautifully carved and very valuable gemstone. The monk rinsed it off at a...

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Do What You Can

Do What You Can

THERE was once a farmer who had a large field of corn. He harrowed it and weeded it with the greatest care, for he wanted to sell the corn and buy good things for his family with the money. But after he had worked hard, he saw the corn wither and droop, for no rain...

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Something It Is Not

Something It Is Not

Huitse said to Changtse, “I have a tree, and though it is large its trunk is so irregular and gnarled and its branches so twisted that it cannot be used for lumber. It stands right by the roadside, yet no carpenter will look at it. Your words are like that tree, big...

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The King of Compassion

The King of Compassion

A Folk Tale from India Once upon a time there was a great king who ruled his people with generosity and kindness. He showed compassion for everything, for all the birds and animals and for every person, young and old. He also honored the gods. So good was the king...

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The World is Round

The World is Round

One day a priest's one slipper fell into the river. The priest threw the other slipper into the water because he had no use for one slipper. A man was bathing in the river. He saw the slipper and threw it on the bank. But the slipper hit a man who was carrying a pot...

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