Stories About Suffering
Welcome to our enchanting collection, designed to make story time an unforgettable adventure. As caregivers and educators, we understand the importance of nurturing children’s minds through stories, and that’s why we’ve compiled the 8 best stories about suffering for kids to read online. From classic tales to lesser-known stories, these narratives are perfect to tell at bedtime or as a part of the daily learning curriculum for early years foundation stage (EYFS) students, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school students.
Suffering, as intense as it sounds, is an integral part of life and understanding it from a tender age helps children develop empathy, resilience, and emotional intelligence. These tales, cloaked in the vibrancy of fairy tales and fun adventures, offer children an age-appropriate context to grasp the concept of suffering. They unveil that suffering, though challenging, often leads to personal growth, learning, and a deeper appreciation of joy when it comes.
This curated selection is presented in an easy English language format, filled with beautiful, printable pictures to engage the young readers. Parents and educators can enjoy the convenience of free online access, with options to download in pdf format or read aloud directly from the webpage. Some stories are short, perfect for a quick bedtime read, while others are slightly longer, appropriate for a leisurely night time exploration. Each story is accompanied by an audio version, making them accessible to children of varying reading abilities.
Whether you’re a mother looking for a good night story to help her child fall asleep, a kindergarten teacher in search of an educational resource, or a father who wants to spend some quality time reading to his children during story time, these tales cater to all needs. Famous and lesser-known stories alike will engage both girls and boys, piquing their interest while subtly teaching them the moral intricacies embedded in experiences of suffering.
Stay with us as we journey through this heartwarming compilation, because there’s nothing quite as magical as seeing young minds expand and evolve. Rest assured, these tales are not only about suffering – they’re about resilience, hope, love, and the power of spirit. Let’s start this unforgettable journey and inspire our kids, one story at a time.
Top 8 Stories About Suffering:
- The Little Mermaid: In a beautiful underwater kingdom, the littlest mermaid dreams of exploring the world above the water. On her fifteenth birthday, she witnesses a shipwreck and saves a handsome prince from drowning. Unable to speak, she longs to be with him and seeks the help of a sea witch, sacrificing her voice and enduring excruciating pain to gain legs. The prince takes her into his castle, but he is in love with another girl who saved him on the beach. Heartbroken, the little mermaid faces her fate of becoming foam on the sea until she is transformed into a daughter of the air. Determined to earn an immortal soul, she embarks on a journey to perform good deeds for 300 years.
- The Devoted Friend: In a small village, honest and kind-hearted Hans had a beautiful garden that he tended with love. His wealthy friend, the miller, often took flowers, herbs, and fruits from Hans’ garden, emphasizing the importance of selfless friendship. Despite Hans’ winter hardships and loneliness, the miller never visited him during those times. When spring arrived, the miller finally came, giving Hans a broken wheelbarrow and asking for a basket of flowers in return. Obliging, Hans gave away his flowers and continued to fulfill the miller’s demands, neglecting his own garden. Exhausted and taken advantage of, Hans met a tragic end during a storm while helping the miller’s son. At Hans’ funeral, the miller expressed sorrow, lamenting the loss of the opportunity to give him the wheelbarrow. The story highlights the consequences of one-sided friendships and the importance of genuine care and reciprocity.
- Romeo And Juliet: In the Italian city of Verona, a longstanding feud between the Capulet and Montague families results in frequent fights. At a banquet hosted by Lord Capulet, Romeo, a Montague, attends in disguise with his friends. There, he falls in love with Juliet, the daughter of Lord Capulet, unaware of her identity. After confessing their love for each other, they secretly marry with the help of Friar Lawrence. However, tragedy strikes when Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin Tybalt and is banished from Verona. Desperate to avoid marrying another man, Juliet takes a potion that mimics death. Romeo, unaware of the plan, believes Juliet is truly dead and takes his own life. When Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead, she also kills herself. The families, grief-stricken, decide to end their feud and honor the young lovers with statues.
- The Red Shoes: Karen, a poor girl, receives a pair of red shoes after her mother’s death. She goes to live with an old, rich lady who provides her with new clothes but disapproves of the red shoes. When Karen sees a princess wearing beautiful red shoes, she becomes envious and secretly buys a pair for herself. However, the shoes take control of her, compelling her to dance incessantly. Karen realizes her mistake but cannot remove the shoes until an executioner helps her by chopping them off. She returns to a simple life, valuing substance over appearances.
- Graciosa And Percinet: Graciosa, a kind and obedient princess, is forced into a marriage with the ugly and mean-spirited duchess, Grognon, by her money-hungry father, the king. Graciosa encounters Percinet, a fairy prince who is in love with her, and they develop a bond. Grognon seeks to harm Graciosa through impossible tasks, but Percinet comes to her aid each time. However, Grognon’s final act leads to Graciosa’s imprisonment and apparent death. Graciosa enters the fairy world and reunites with Percinet, realizing her love for him. In the end, they marry and find happiness together, while Grognon faces her well-deserved fate.
- The Little Match Girl: On a freezing winter night, a poor girl wanders the streets, desperate and hungry. She carries a bundle of matches and seeks refuge from the cold. Lighting a match, she experiences fleeting moments of warmth and joy. Each match reveals visions of a cozy stove, a bountiful feast, a beautiful Christmas tree, and even a glimpse of her deceased grandmother. Desperate to keep the visions alive, she ignites all the matches, hoping her grandmother will stay with her. As the matches burn, the girl’s life fades away, but she finds solace in the embrace of her grandmother and ascends to a place of eternal happiness. The next morning, her lifeless body is discovered, but her heavenly journey remains unknown to those who only see a girl seeking warmth.
- The Rose-Tree: Once upon a time, there was a good man with two children, a beautiful girl with golden hair and a boy. The girl’s evil stepmother despised her and sent her to buy candles. On her way back, a mischievous dog stole the candles multiple times, causing her to return empty-handed. Enraged, the stepmother ordered the girl to lay her head on her lap and chopped off her luscious hair. Later, she cooked the girl’s heart and served it to her unknowing husband. The boy, aware of the deceit, buried his sister’s heart under a rose tree. In spring, a white bird with a beautiful voice perched on the rose tree, singing a haunting song about the girl’s fate. The bird exchanged the song for red shoes, a gold watch, and a millstone from different tradesmen. When the stepmother heard the bird’s song, she ran outside and was crushed by the falling millstone. The girl’s brother and father rejoiced, finally free from the wicked stepmother’s grasp.
- The History Of The Young King Of The Black Islands: a wretched prisoner reveals his past as the son of the late King Mahmoud. After marrying his cousin, the young king notices his queen’s diminishing affection and discovers her nightly escapades. He overhears her confession to two ladies-in-waiting and witnesses her rendezvous with a mysterious man. Enraged, he confronts the man and fatally wounds him. The queen continues her treachery, unaware that her husband has regained his speech and is planning revenge. The Sultan, captivated by the young king’s story, vows to help him. They successfully execute their plan, resulting in the death of the sorceress queen and the restoration of the city and its inhabitants. Grateful for the Sultan’s assistance, the young king becomes his adopted son and accompanies him back to his own land, where they are warmly welcomed. The fisherman, who played a crucial role in the young king’s liberation, is rewarded with great fortune, securing a prosperous future for him and his family.
As we conclude our voyage through these compelling stories of suffering and triumph, we hope they have served to illuminate the resilience of the human spirit for our young readers. Through tales of both classic and contemporary origin, this collection has aimed to encourage empathy, resilience, and understanding in girls and boys alike. Whether read aloud at bedtime, used as an educational tool in kindergarten or elementary classrooms, or merely enjoyed during a relaxing story time, these narratives remain freely accessible for all. While suffering is a complex theme to explore, it’s an integral part of life’s tapestry, teaching us to persevere and find joy in the simplest things. So, tuck your kids in, tell these tales, and let their dreams be filled with lessons of love, strength, and hope. Until our next collection, here’s to creating more moments of learning and growth, one story at a time.