Tiny Tales from India

Welcome to Tiny Tales from India. This is a collection of two hundred stories from India, and each story is just 100 words long.

Creative Commons. This work is released with a Creative Commons license: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. That means you can remix and reuse individual stories or the contents of the whole book with attribution for non-commercial purposes, provided that you release your work with the same license. Find out more.
Attribution: Tiny Tales from India by Laura Gibbs.
Version: July 8 2020.

You can access the book in a variety of formats, along with individual stories here at the blog (see story title list and links below).

Pressbooks. This is a web-based presentation of the book with all the stories on one page. Even better: you can highlight the stories using Hypothesis; just click on the upper right-hand corner for the Hypothesis toolbar.

Audiobook. There is a free audiobook you can listen to via SoundCloud. I've also made the mp3 files available for download if you prefer not to use SoundCloud and/or if you want to repurpose the audio (which is also released with the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license).

EPUB. You can use this EPUB file for ebook readers like Nook, etc.

MOBI. You can download this MOBI file to load onto your Kindle, and this Kindle MOBI file is free! Here's how to add a free MOBI file to your Kindle.

Kindle Store. The Kindle book is available at Amazon for 99 cents (which is the lowest price you can set for a Kindle book; see the MOBI option above for a free Kindle-compatible version).

Print. There is a print version available at Amazon for $5.99, with free Prime shipping (although it's print-on-demand, so it takes about 10 days total).

Randomizer. You can see a story from the book at random, and you can also get the javascript code to add the randomizer to your own blog or website if you want.

Text file. This is a plain text file, no special characters. This option might be useful if you want to repurpose the entire book with your own formatting; see Creative Commons licensing CC BY-NC-SA above.

HTML. If you want to read a web-based presentation without the Hypothesis toolbar, here is a very simple HTML version.

PDF. You can download a PDF copy of the book.

Blog presentationHere at the blog, you can access the stories individually using the links below, and you will also find bibliography information and notes that are not contained in the book. You can also read the entire book here at the blog by scrolling through the book contents. Use the "older posts" link to advance through the book or, on your phone, just keep on scrolling.

Diigo. If you are interested in searching the contents of the book, then the Diigo bookmark collection might be useful! You can use keyword searches of the #india:book items, Boolean searches, etc. For example: Maya.

More Stories from IndiaIn addition, there are even more stories from India here at the blog that are not in the book. You can browse those extra stories with this link: more stories from India.

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A Book of Two Hundred 100-Word Stories


This book opens with traditional folktales from the Panchatantra, the Hitopadesha, and the Katha-Sarit-Sagara ("Story-Stream-Ocean"), plus Jataka tales of the Buddha's past lives. You will also find stories of the Indian gods and goddesses, plus parables from Ramakrishna, who was both a sadhu (holy man) and storyteller. The book closes with anecdotes about the legendary jesters Tenalirama from the court of Krishnadevaraya in southern India and Birbal from the court of Akbar in the north. The two hundred stories in this book represent only a tiny fraction of the Indian storytelling tradition. To read more stories from India, visit:

The paragraph you just read about this book is exactly one hundred words long, as is this paragraph, and that's also the length of each story in this book. The stories go fast, but you can slow down when you find one you like. Read it again. Let it sink in. Maybe even write your own version of the story, using your imagination to add more details. Meanwhile, if you don't like a story, don't get bogged down; just move on to the next one. There are more 100-word stories from India, plus stories from other cultural traditions, at:


1. The Lion and the Rabbit
2. The Lion-King and the Camel
3. The Lion-King and the Jackal
4. A Story for the Lion-King
5. The Lion and the Cat
6. The Lion in the Jackal's Cave
7. The Blue Jackal
8. The Jackal and his Brothers
9. The Tiger Cub and the Goats
10. The Lion and the Ram
11. The Jackal and the Dead Elephant
12. Lion, Jackal, and Camel
13. The Jackal and the Crow
14. The Jackal and the Peacock
15. The Jackal and the Otters
16. The Jackal and the Rams
17. The Jackal and the Bullock
18. The Jackals and the Elephant
19. The Elephant and the Sparrow
20. The Elephant-King and the Mice
21. The Elephants and the Rabbits
22. The Elephant and the Monkey
23. The Wealthy Toad
24. The Boastful Beetle
25. The Self-Important Insect
26. The Monkey and the Firefly
27. The Monkey and the Peas
28. The Crocodile and the Monkey
29. The Monkey and the Rock
30. The Crow's Revenge
31. The Crab's Advice
32. The Partridge and the Rabbit
33. The Vulture and the Cat
34. The Hawks and the Crows
35. The Jackdaw and the Glow-Worm
36. The Bharunda Bird
37. The Hawk and the Fish
38. The Crow and the Sunrise
39. The Animals Boasting
40. The Animals Change Places
41. The Crabs and the Fox
42. The Crane and the Fish
43. Big-Wit, Half-Wit, and Witless
44. The Two Fish and the Frog
45. The Frog in the Well
46. The Frog-King in the Well
47. The Snake and the Frog
48. The Frog-King Rides the Snake
49. The Snake and the Ants
50. Deer, Tiger, and Crocodile
51. The Rabbit and the Coconut
52. The Fox in the Flood
53. The Horse Tied to a Tree
54. The Tiger and the Fox
55. The Tiger and the Golden Bangle
56. The Twin Parrots
57. The Captive Fawn
58. The King and his Monkey
59. The Monkeys and the Gardener
60. Monkey See, Monkey Do
61. The Monkey and the Sparrow
62. The Wild Geese
63. The King of the Doves
64. The Gadfly and the Lion
65. Turtle, Deer, Mouse, and Crow
66. Deer, Crow, and Jackal
67. The Hunter and the Jackal
68. The Goose and the Crow
69. The Monkey and the Goat
70. The Louse and the Flea
71. The Turtle and the Peacock
72. The Turtle in the Lake
73. The Turtle and the Two Birds
74. The Donkey and the Jackal
75. The Donkey and the Tiger-Skin
76. The Donkey and the Watchdog
77. The Brave Mongoose
78. The Pilgrims and the Jewels
79. The Bandit's Ghost
80. The Rats in the House
81. The Rats and the Jackal
82. The Jackal in the Elephant
83. The Jackal and the Corpse
84. The Jackal and the Lion
85. The Deer and his Nephew
86. The Two Oxen
87. The Fish and the Crane
88. The Parrot and the Mangos
89. The Woodpecker and the Lion
90. The Quail Chick
91. The Quail and the Hunter
92. The Birds by the Lake
93. The Birds in the Tree
94. The Crow by the Highway
95. The Bird-King and the Peacock
96. The Swan with the Golden Feathers
97. The Drummer and the Bandits
98. The Monk and his Snake
99. The Buddha and the Mantra
100. The Three Friends and the Tiger
101. The Elephant-Driver
102. The Pilgrim and the Snake
103. The Two Men and the Mangos
104. The Two Friends in Town
105. The Priceless Diamond
106. The Fish and the Flowers
107. The Pilgrim Couple
108. The Holy Man and the Dog
109. The Lizard on the Tree
110. The Woodcutter's Dream
111. The Farmer's Dream
112. The Hill of Sugar
113. The Doll of Salt
114. The Seeker and his Family
115. The Thief-Turned-Sadhu
116. The Fisherman-Turned-Sadhu
117. The Holy Man by the Roadside
118. The Traveler and the Tree
119. The Wisest of the Brahmins
120. The Brahmin and his Mouse-Daughter
121. The Brahmin and his Snake-Son
122. The Snake and the Brahmin's Wife
123. The Farmer and the Snake
124. The Monk in the Dream
125. The Thief and the Demon
126. The Barber and the Fairy
127. The Dim-Witted Weaver
128. Sunda and Upasunda
129. Riding Shiva's Bull
130. The Teeth of Shiva's Bull
131. The Dog in Shiva's Temple
132. Shiva and Vishnu
133. Maya: The Illusion of the World
134. Indra's Parrot and Yama
135. Indra and the Brahmin
136. Garuda and the Snake-Man
137. The Seagulls and Garuda
138. Agni and Varuna
139. Ganesha is Born
140. Ganesha and the Cat
141. Ganesha and Kartikeya
142. Kubera and Ganesha
143. Durga Puja
144. The Stingy Man's Dinner
145. The Poor Man's Pot of Honey
146. The Hermit in the Forest
147. The Guru's Two Disciples
148. The Beggar and Emperor Akbar
149. The Widow and her Sons
150. The Old Woman Going to Town
151. The Couple who Cooperated
152. The Blind Men and the Elephant
153. The Brahmin's Goat
154. The Farmer and the Merchant
155. The Monk and the King
156. The Potter and the King
157. The Carpenter and his Son
158. The Man in the Tree
159. The Merchant and his Servant
160. The Two Brothers
161. The Five Loaves of Bread
162. The Man and his Neighbor
163. The Judge and his Son
164. The Wife who Died
165. The Carpenter under the Bed
166. Tenalirama and Kali
167. Tenalirama and the King
168. Tenalirama and the Gold Coins
169. Tenalirama and the Peaches
170. Tenalirama and the Twenty Lashes
171. Tenalirama and the Washerman
172. Tenalirama and the Executioner
173. Tenalirama and his Brother-in-Law
174. Tenalirama and the Queen
175. Tenalirama's Finger
176. Tenalirama's Face
177. Tenalirama and the Chessboard
178. Tenalirama and the Painter
179. Tenalirama and the Chinese Vases
180. Tenalirama and the King's Bad Luck
181. Tenalirama and the Magician
182. Tenalirama's Ramayana
183. Tenalirama and the Ramayana Murals
184. Tenalirama and the Money-Bag
185. Tenalirama and the Thief
186. Tenalirama and the Honest Beggar
187. Tenalirama and the Chicken
188. Tenalirama and the Sadhu
189. Tenalirama and the Boys
190. Tenalirama and his Friend
191. Tenalirama's Magical Water
192. Birbal's House
193. Birbal and the Eggplants
194. Birbal and the Two Mothers
195. Birbal and the Beggar
196. Birbal's Magical Sticks
197. Birbal and the Crows
198. The Emperor's Caravansary
199. Birbal Sees Both Good and Bad
200. Birbal the Philosopher


For story-specific bibliography and notes, visit:

Chalmers, Robert (translator). The Jataka.
Cowell, E. B. and W. H. D. Rouse (translators). The Jataka.
Dutton, Maude Barrows. The Tortoise and the Geese, and Other Fables of Bidpai.
Francis, H.T. and R.A. Neil (translators). The Jataka.
Goyal, Vishal. Fix Your Problems the Tenali Raman Way.
Hale-Wortham, B. (translator). Hitopadesha, or, The Book of Good Counsel.
Mandana, Kavitha. Tenali Raman: Tales of Wit and Wisdom.
Moseley, James. A Caravan from Hindustan: The Complete Birbal Tales.
Prasadh, Nagaraj. Stories of Lord Ganesha.
Raju, Ramaswami. Indian Fables.
Ramakrishna. Tales and Parables.
Ramanujan, A. K. Folktales from India.
Rangachari, Devika. The Wit of Tenali Raman.
Rouse, W.H.D. (translator). The Jataka.
Ryder, Arthur (translator). The Panchatantra.
Steel, Flora Annie. Tales of the Punjab.
Tawney, C.H. (translator). The Ocean of Story.
Venkataswami, M. N. Heeramma and Venkataswami, or Folktales From India.
Venkataswami, M. N. Tulsemmah and Nagaya.

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