Jataka tales are ancient folklore which originated in India. Ellen C. Babbitt collected and retold these stories in two volumes, Jataka Tales (1912) and More Jataka Tales (1922). Babbitt's versions were based on translations created by Professor E. B. Cowell, professor of Sanskrit in the University of Cambridge, and his team between 1895 and 1907. Some of the Jataka tales may have been later ascribed to Aesop.
Source: Babbitt, E.C. (Ed.). (1922). More Jataka Tales. New York, NY: D. Appleton-Century Company.
- “Beauty and Brownie”
- Two deer look after great herds of deer, and one doesn’t follow his father’s advice and loses many of the herd.
- “The Brave Little Bowman”
- How the little bowman became the king’s army chief.
- “The Cunning Wolf”
- A man tries to fool animals in order to get food for supper, but the King of Wolves sees through his trick.
- “The Elephant and the Dog”
- An elephant and a dog become friends, but one day the dog is sold. The elephant refuses to eat or bathe without his pal, and soon the two are reunited for the rest of their days.
- “The Foolhardy Wolf”
- A wolf refuses to believe that there are limits to what he can do.
- “The Girl Monkey and the String of Pearls”
- A monkey steals a string of beads, but the chief of the guards recovers them.
- “The Golden Goose”
- How greed destroys abundance.
- “The Hawks and Their Friends”
- A family of hawks has friends who save them.
- “How the Monkey Saved His Troop”
- A monkey saves his friends from the king’s men, and the king is so impressed that he vows to keep the monkey safe for the rest of his life.
- “The Lion in Bad Company”
- A young lion makes friends with a wolf, against his father’s wishes. The friendship leads the lion to hunting the king’s ponies, which his father told him not to do, but the lion keeps on and ends up killed by the king’s archer.
- “The Otters and the Wolf”
- A wolf finds a clever way to get fish for supper.
- “The Penny-Wise Monkey”
- A king sees a monkey lose many peas in order to gain one more, and realizes he should not start a war with a remote, small country.
- “Prince Wicked and the Grateful Animals”
- A poor man’s good heart wins him power and riches over Prince Wicked.
- “The Red-Bud Tree”
- Young princes see a tree at different times of the year, and cannot agree on its appearance.
- “The Stolen Plow”
- How two traders get their plow and child back.
- “The Stupid Monkeys”
- Monkeys are unable to discern how much to water trees.
- “The Three Fishes”
- The thoughtful fish saves his two less-thoughtful brothers, and they all return to a safer river.
- “The Tricky Wolf and the Rats”
- A wolf eats rats, but then the Chief of Rats finds out and bites his neck, killing him, so that the rest of the rats live in peace.
- “The Wise Goat and the Wolf”
- A goat outwits two wolves.
- “The Woodpecker and the Lion”
- A woodpecker does a favor for a lion, who does not thank him. Later, the lion refuses to do a favor for the woodpecker, saying he already did him a favor by not eating him.
- “The Woodpecker, Turtle, and Deer”
- Three friends help each other out.
- Year Published: 1922
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 3.9
- Word Count: 12,338
- Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
- Keywords: advice, archery, army, brothers, clever, deer, determination, fishing, foolish, friendship, garden, good vs. evil, grateful, greed, hero, honesty, kindness, moral, peace, revenge, seasons, stealing, theft, trees, trick, trickery, war, wise, wit
Babbitt, E. (1922). More Jataka Tales. (Lit2Go ed.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from
Babbitt, Ellen C.. More Jataka Tales. Lit2Go Edition. 1922. Web. <>. January 30, 2015.
Ellen C. Babbitt, More Jataka Tales, Li2Go edition, (1922), accessed January 30, 2015,.