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The Foolish Lion And The Clever Rabbit Story With Moral For Kids

Stories inspire kids to think creatively. Good stories can teach them valuable lessons too, apart from improving vocabulary and memory. ‘The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit’ story from the Panchatantra is one such story. It is about a clever rabbit who outwitted a greedy lion. The narrative is simple, but the story is a big hit among kids. Read on to know the story and some facts about it.


Origin And History Of ‘The Foolish Lion And The Clever Rabbit’

‘The Foolish Lion And The Clever Rabbit’ is a famous story from the Panchtantra collection of Indian fables written around 200 BC. Pandu Vishnu Sharma was the author of this beautiful collection. He was a renowned Hindu scholar in India then. The stories were formerly written in the Sanskrit language and then translated into English by Arthur William Ryder. The Panchatantra stories have important morals that are useful in everyday life.


Story Type Of ‘The Foolish Lion And The Clever Rabbit’

It is a story with a moral lesson, mostly used as a bedtime story.


Story Characters

The Lion: The lion in this story is a selfish being who thinks he is more significant than everybody else because of his physical attributes.

The Rabbit: The rabbit in the story is a clever and selfless being who, with his intelligence and wisdom, teaches the lion a lesson as the story progresses.


‘The Foolish Lion And The Clever Rabbit Story’ For Children

The foolish lion and the clever rabbit story for kids

Once upon a time, in a large forest, there lived many animals, all living together. But one day, a bad lion came, who was just mean to everybody and thought he could eat everybody in the forest. He was vicious and powerful. As a result, he would go about the forest and kill the other animals even when he did not want to eat them. Whenever he was hungry, he would run and chase even the quickest animals and devour them in an instant.

As a result, the animals started dwindling in numbers. The animals then came up with an intelligent plan. They went to the lion and said, ‘Our king, please listen to our plea. The rate at which you are hunting us will soon lead to us being extinct. We request you to stay in your den, and in return, we will send you one animal every day as your food.’


The lion agreed with this convenient arrangement, as he would no longer need to venture out in search of a meal. So the animals sent one animal every day for the lion to eat.  Soon enough, it was the turn of a tiny rabbit. He was terrified because he knew he would be gobbled up by the ravenous lion in a flash. But he was also very smart. He waited till afternoon to go to the lion’s den. As he walked up to the lion, he devised a brilliant plan. He was determined to beat the lion at his own game. He knew the lion would be famished by now and impatient as ever. So, the rabbit walked even more slowly and finally arrived at the lion’s den by sunset. As expected, the hungry lion was pacing up and down.

He roared and asked, ‘Why are you so late? And why have they sent me one puny rabbit? As though one little rabbit will satisfy my hunger!’


He also vowed to kill the other animals in the forest due to their lack of consideration.

The rabbit was calm and said, ‘Oh great lion, there were six rabbits in total when we started. But one ferocious lion met us on the way. He took five of the other rabbits. He would not let me go, so I told him we already have you as our mighty king. He was extremely angry and spared me to inform you that he is now the new king. You have to leave the forest at once, or he would kill you, he said.’


The lion was shocked and enraged to hear this. ‘Take me to this other lion’s den’, he said to the rabbit. ‘I will kill him and show him who is king indeed.’

The bad lion thought he could overpower and eat the other five rabbits as well. And so the rabbit took him to a deep well that was filled with water.


‘He lives inside a big cave in this well’, the rabbit told the furious lion. As they were both standing on the edge of the well, the rabbit pointed into the well and said, ‘There he is, your majesty’. When the lion looked into the well, he saw his own reflection in the water. As reflections in the water appear substantially huge, the silly lion was infuriated. He roared at his reflection inside the deep well. The roar echoed back at him from the well, and the foolish lion thought it was the other lion roaring at him. Without giving it another thought, the lion jumped into the well. Since the well was quite deep, he could not swim and climb back up. The rabbit ran away and left the helpless lion alone in the well.

Story Summary

Here’s a summary of ‘The Lion And The Clever Rabbit’:


There was a lion in a jungle who killed a large number of animals in the forest. To prevent the lion from killing other animals at will, the animals collectively called a conference one day, and they agreed to send an animal to the lion every day as his food. The lion quickly accepted this proposal after it was conveyed to him. One day, it was a rabbit’s turn. The rabbit was clever and devised a strategy to kill the lion. He arrived at the lion somewhat late. ‘Why are you so late? I’m starving’, the lion roared when he saw the rabbit. The rabbit told him that he was coming with his friends but was stopped by another lion. The lion got furious upon learning this. He asked the rabbit to take him where the other lion was. So, as per plan, the rabbit took him to a well and told him to see inside the well. When the lion saw inside the well, he saw his own reflection and misjudged it as the other lion. He then jumped inside the well to kill him and soon realised that he was stuck in the well, unable to get out.

Moral Of The Story

Wisdom outsmarts physical strength. The wee rabbit was wise and could beat the lion with his intelligence. The jealous lion did not think of his actions and only acted on impulse. His hunger and his ego had numbed his mind.

How Can Children Apply The Moral Lesson Of The Story In Real Life?

This is the story of the foolish lion and the clever rabbit. Since the lion thought he was strong, he could dominate the animals. But the intelligent rabbit fooled the lion and taught him a big lesson.

Children who think ahead of any action they perform are sharper and can do well in any situation. Being smart and thinking cleverly can help solve any problem, and brute force is not the answer to overpowering others.

‘The Lion And The Clever Rabbit’ story is beautiful as it teaches kids the importance of wisdom over physical force. Kids will thoroughly enjoy the story if you narrate it with pictures, as they will be able to imagine the whole sequence.

Also Read:

Rapunzel Story with Moral for Kids
Princess and The Frog Story with Moral for Children
The Boy Who Cried Wolf Moral Story for Kids

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