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The 15 best short stories (to learn by reading)

The 15 best short stories (to learn by reading)

April 1, 2024

Throughout history and since the invention of writing, there have been many examples of authors who have given free rein to their imagination in order to express their feelings, emotions and thoughts. Many of them have expressed different beliefs, values ​​and ways of doing or living, some even in a short space.

It's about short stories, great value , of which throughout this article we offer you a fortnight to learn by reading.

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15 short stories with which to learn

Then we leave you with a total of fifteen examples of short stories and micro stories, many of which have been elaborated by great authors from different eras , and that deal with a great diversity of themes.

1. The story of the milkmaid

"Once upon a time there was a young milkmaid who carried a bucket of milk on her head, on the way to the market to sell it. Along the way, the young dreamer imagined what she could achieve with milk. He thought that in the first place and with the money from the sale he would buy a basket of eggs, which once hatched would allow him to set up a small chicken farm. Once they grew they could sell them, which would give them money to buy a piglet.

Once this animal grew the sale of the animal would be enough to buy a calf, with the milk from which it would continue to obtain benefits and in turn could have calves. However, while I was thinking all these things the girl stumbled, which caused the pitcher to fall to the ground and break. And with him, his expectations towards what he could have done with it. "

This story, that has versions of Aesop and La Fontaine (the latter being the one we have reflected), teaches us the need to live in the present and that although we need to dream we must also bear in mind that this is not enough to achieve our purposes. Initially, it is a small story that warns us to be careful that ambition does not make us lose our sense.

Likewise, in some adaptations a later dialogue between the milkmaid and her mother is also included , who tells him that thanks to having similar fantasies he could manage to set up a farm: in this case it is a reflection that we need to dream and ambition, but taking care of what we do to achieve the objectives, besides not giving up before the first stumble or obstacle.

2. Suspicion

"Once upon a time there was a woodcutter who one day realized he did not have his ax. Surprised and with tears in his eyes, he found his neighbor near his house, who, as always, greeted him smiling and kindly.

While he was entering his house, the woodcutter suddenly began to suspect and think that it might have been the neighbor who had stolen the ax. In fact, now that he thought about it his smile seemed nervous, he had a strange look and he would even have said that his hands were shaking. Well thought, the neighbor had the same expression as a thief, walked like a thief and spoke like a thief.

All this was thinking the woodcutter, increasingly convinced that he had found the culprit of the theft, when he suddenly realized that his steps had taken him back to the forest where he had been the night before.

Suddenly, he stumbled over something hard and fell. When he looked at the ground ... he found his ax! The woodcutter returned to his home with the ax, repented of his suspicions, and when he saw his neighbor again he saw that his expression, walk and manner of speaking were (and had been at all times) the same as always. "

This short story, which is part of many traditions but apparently has its origin in China, helps us to learn that sometimes our thoughts and suspicions make us have distorted perceptions of reality , being able to get to misinterpret situations and people with great ease. It also teaches us not to accuse someone gratuitously until we have real proof of what we accuse him of.

3. The goose that lays the golden eggs

"Once upon a time there was a couple of farmers who, one day, discovered in one of the nests where chickens raised a solid gold egg. The couple was observing that the bird produced such a prodigy day after day, obtaining every day a golden egg.

Reflecting on what it was that made the hen in question had that ability, they suspected that it had gold inside it. To check it and get all the gold at once, they killed the chicken and opened it, discovering to their surprise that inside the prodigious bird was equal to the others. And they also realized that, in their ambition, they had done away with what had been enriching them. "

This fable, associated with Aesop but also versioned by authors such as Samariaga or La Fontaine and that sometimes speaks of a chicken and in others of a goose, teaches us the importance of shelving greed , because it can lead us to lose what we have.

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4. The Zen master

"Once upon a time, during a civil war in feudal times, a small town where a Zen master lived. One day, the news reached them that a fearsome general was heading in his direction to invade and take the area. The day before the arrival of the army the whole village fled, with the exception of the old master. When the general arrived, after finding the village practically deserted and knowing of the existence of the old man, he ordered the Zen master to appear before him, but he did not do so.

The general went quickly to the temple where the teacher rested. Furious, the general drew his sword and held it up to his face, shouting at him that if he did not realize that he was simply standing in front of whoever could cross him in an instant. Quietly, the old teacher replied that the General was precisely before someone who could be traversed in an instant. The general, surprised and confused, ended by bowing and leaving the place. "

This short story reflects the quality of emotional self-control and the value of having the ability to stay calm in any circumstance . The point is that anything can happen to us at any moment, and to be disturbed by it does not lead us to anything.

5. The fox and the grapes

"There was once a fox that walked, thirsty, through the forest. As he did so, he saw a bunch of grapes on the top of a tree branch, which he wished instantly to serve to refresh himself and quench his thirst. The fox approached the tree and tried to reach the grapes, but they were too tall. After trying again and again without success, the fox finally gave up and walked away. Seeing that a bird had seen the whole process, it was said out loud that he did not really want the grapes, given that they were not yet ripe, and that in reality the attempt to reach them had stopped when he found out. "

Another interesting short story in the form of a fable that teaches us that we often try to convince ourselves not to want something and even come to despise said something because we find it difficult to reach it.

6. The wolf and the crane

"Once upon a time there was a wolf who, eating meat, suffered a blockage of a bone in his throat. This began to swell and generate great pain, running the desperate wolf trying to get it out or find help. During his way he found a crane, to which after explaining the situation he begged for help promising to give him whatever he asked. Although he distrusted, the crane accepted with the condition that the wolf fulfill the agreement. The bird proceeded to insert its head down its throat, getting the bone to come off. He retired and watched as the wolf recovered, now able to breathe normally, after which he asked him to fulfill his promise. However the wolf replied that enough reward was not having devoured it despite having it between his teeth. "

This fable of Aesop (although there is also a version in the tradition of India in which instead of a wolf the animal in distress is a lion), teaches us that we can not always trust what others tell us and promise , given that there will be someone who will be ungrateful or even who will lie and manipulate us to achieve their purposes without assessing their own efforts.

7. The old man, the boy and the donkey

"Once upon a time there was a grandfather and a grandson who decided to take a trip together with a donkey. Initially the old man had the child ride on the animal, so that he would not get tired. However, upon arriving in a village, the locals began to comment and criticize that the old man had to go to the foot while the younger, more vital child was mounted. Criticism made Grandfather and Grandson finally change positions, now the old man riding on the donkey and the boy walking next to him.

However, as they passed through a second village, the locals shouted in the sky that the poor child was walking while the older man was comfortably assembled. Both then decided to ride on the animal. But when they reached a third village, the villagers criticized both, accusing them of overcharging the poor donkey.

Before this, the old man and his grandson decided to go both on foot, walking beside the animal. But in a fourth village they laughed at them, since they had a mount and none of them traveled in it. The grandfather took advantage of the situation to show his grandson the fact that, whatever they did, there would always be someone who would feel bad and that what was important was not what others said, but what they believed in themselves. "

This traditional story teaches us to keep in mind that we must be true to ourselves , and that whatever we do, there will be someone who does not like us and criticizes us: we can not like everyone, and we should not obsess to please our neighbor.

8. Hidden happiness

"In the beginning of time, before humanity populated the Earth, the different gods met in order to prepare the creation of the human being, in his image and likeness. However, one of them realized that if they were made exactly like them, they would actually be creating new gods, with which they should remove something in such a way that it differentiated from them. After thinking carefully, another of the people proposed to take away their happiness and hide it in a place where they could never find it.

Another of them proposed to hide it in the highest mountain, but they realized that by having strength, humanity could rise and find it. Another proposed that they hide it under the sea, but since humanity would have curiosity, it could build something to reach the depths of the sea and find it. A third proposed to bring happiness to a distant planet, but others concluded that since the human being will have intelligence, he will be able to build spacecraft that can reach it.

The last of the gods, who had remained silent until then, took the floor to indicate that he knew a place where they would not find it: he proposed that they hide happiness within the human being, so that he would be so busy looking outside I would never find it. Being all in agreement with it, they did it. This is the reason why the human being spends his life looking for happiness, without knowing that he is really in himself. "

This beautiful tale in the form of a story reflects something that is very present in today's society: We usually seek happiness constantly as if it were something external that we can reach, when in fact we find it precisely when we are not looking for it but enjoying the here and now.

9. The bird victim of kindness

"There was once a seagull, which descended flying to one of the suburbs of the capital of Lu. The Marquis of the area strived to entertain and welcome him in the temple, preparing for her the best music and great sacrifices. However, the bird was stunned and sad, not tasting meat or wine. Three days later he died. The Marquis of Lu feted the seagull as he would have liked to be, not as the bird would have liked "

This short story tells us something very important: we often do not take into account that our needs and tastes do not have to be the same as those of others (and in fact can be directly opposed to our own), being necessary that we pay attention to what the other needs in order to be able to help him or truly entertain him.

10. The lost horse of the wise old man

"Once upon a time there was an old peasant of great wisdom, who lived with his son and who owned a horse. One day the steed escaped from the place, something that caused the neighbors to comfort them about their bad luck. But before his words of consolation, the old peasant replied that the only true thing is that the horse had escaped, and if that was good or bad luck would be the time that would dictate.

Shortly after the horse returned with its owners, accompanied by a beautiful mare. The neighbors ran to congratulate him on his good luck. However, the old man replied that in reality the only thing that was certain was that the horse had returned with the mare, and if this was bad or good, time would tell.

Later the farmer's son tried to mount the mare, still wild, so that he fell off the saddle and broke his leg. According to the doctor, the rutpura would cause a permanent limp. The neighbors returned to comfort both, but also this time the old peasant would rule that the only thing that was known was that his son had broken his leg, and that if it was good or bad was still to be seen.

Finally, a day came when a bloody war began in the region. They began to recruit all the young people, but when they saw the limp of the farmer's son, the soldiers who went to recruit him decided that he was not fit for combat, something that caused him not to be recruited and could remain without fighting.

The reflection that the old man made to see his son based on everything that has happened is that the facts are not good or bad in themselves, but rather our expectations and perception of them: the horse's escape brought the mare, what in turn meant the breakage of his leg and also this led to a permanent limp was what now saved his life. "

This well-known story, quite self-explanatory, tells us how our consideration and assessment of what happens to us can sometimes be biased , since the event itself is neither good nor bad per se, and how what we sometimes see as something positive or negative can lead us to unexpected places.

11. The lame and the blind

"There was once a lame and a blind man who were walking together when they found a river, which they both had to cross. The lame man told the blind man that he could not reach the other shore, to which the blind man replied that he could pass, but before his lack of vision could slip.

Before that, a great idea occurred to them: the blind man would be the one who would take the march and hold both of them with his legs, while the lame man would be the eyes of both and could guide both during the crossing. Climbing the lame on top of the blind man, both proceeded to carefully cross the river, succeeding and succeeding in reaching the other shore without difficulty. "

This little story, which has other variants (such as that instead of crossing a river both have to escape a fire), helps us understand the importance of collaborating and cooperating with others , something that allows us to combine the skills of all to achieve a common project.

12. The legend of Toro Bravo and Blue Cloud

"A Sioux legend tells that there was once a young couple formed by Toro Bravo and Nube Azul, who loved each other deeply. Wanting to remain united forever, both went to the elder of the tribe in order to provide them with a talisman for being always together.

The old man told the young Blue Cloud to go alone to the northern mountain and capture with a net the best falcon that lived there, while Toro Bravo directed him to the southern mountain to catch the most powerful eagle. Both young people worked hard and managed to capture each one of the best birds in each of the mountains.

This done, the elder told them to tie the legs of the falcon and the eagle together and then let them fly free. So they did, but being tied both birds fell to the ground without being able to fly normally. After several attempts, both began to attack each other. The old man made the couple see this, and told them that the talisman was the learning that they should fly together, but never tied up if they did not want to end up hurting each other. "

This legend of the Sioux aims to make us see that love does not imply being always and always together to the point of depending on each other, but that we must learn to share our life but preserving our individuality and not encourage attitudes of dependence or codependence.

13. The Sand and the Stone

"There were once two friends who were walking through the desert, having lost their camels and having spent days without tasting anything. One day, an argument arose between them in which one of the two rebuked the other for having chosen the wrong route (although the decision had been joint) and in a fit of anger gave him a slap. The assaulted did not say anything, but wrote in the sand that on that day his best friend had hit him a slap (a reaction that surprised the first).

Later both came to an oasis, in which they decided to bathe. In it they were when the former attacked began to drown, to which the other responded by rescuing him. The young man thanked him for the help and later, with a knife, he wrote on a stone that his best friend had saved his life.

The first, curious, asked his partner why when he had stuck he had written on the sand and now he did it on a stone. The second smiled and replied that when someone did something bad he tried to write it on the sand so that the mark would be erased by the wind, while when someone did something good he would prefer to leave it engraved in stone, where it will remain forever. "

This beautiful legend of Arab origin tells us that what we should value and keep fresh in our memory are the good things that others do , while the brands that leave us bad should try to blur and forgive them over time.

14. The fox and the tiger

"There was once a huge tiger that hunted in the forests of China. The powerful animal came across and began to attack a small fox, which in the face of danger had only the option to resort to cunning. Thus, the fox scolded him and told him that he did not know how to harm him since he was the king of the animals by design of the emperor of heaven.

He also indicated that if he did not believe he would accompany him: that way he would see how all the animals fled in fear when they saw him arrive. The tiger did so, observing indeed as the animals escaped. What I did not know was that this was not because they were confirming the words of the fox (something the tiger ended up believing), but in fact they fled the presence of the feline. "

This fable of Chinese origin teaches us that intelligence and cunning they are much more useful than mere physical power or strength .

15. The two hawks

"There was once a king who loved animals, who one day received as a gift two beautiful baby hawks. The king gave them to a master falconer to feed them, take care and train.Time passed and after a few months in which the hawks grew the falconer requested an audience with the king to explain that although one of the hawks had already risen normally, the other had remained on the same branch since he arrived , not taking the flight at any time. This greatly worried the king, who sent for multiple experts to solve the bird's problem. Unsuccessfully.

Desperate, he decided to offer a reward to whoever managed to get the bird to fly. The next day the king could see how the bird was no longer on its branch, but was flying freely through the region. The sovereign sent for the author of such a prodigy, finding that the one who had succeeded was a young peasant. Shortly before giving him his reward, the king asked how he had achieved it. The peasant replied that he had just split the branch, leaving the hawk no choice but to fly. "

A brief history that helps us to understand that sometimes we think we are incapable of doing things out of fear, even though experience shows more than often that deep down yes we have the ability to achieve them : the bird did not trust its possibilities to fly but once it was put to the test it had no choice but to try it, something that led to success.

Bibliographic references:

  • Jacobs, J. (2016). Fables and legends of India. Editorial Quaterni. Madrid Spain.
  • UNHCR UNHCR. (2017). Moral Tales of Ancient China [Online]. Available at: //
  • TONES. (2005) Ancient Fables of China. TONES. Electronic Journal of Philological Studies, 10. [Online]. Available at: //

[Animated] My No No No Day by Rebecca Patterson | Read Aloud Books for Children! (April 2024).

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