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Sharing is Caring: The Dog in the Manger Story for Kids

Want to catch your child’s attention without tossing them an electronic device?

Tell them a Story!

It’s true. Telling kids stories, especially those with a Moral or two,  will not only have them enthralled, but also aid in their Emotional Development. We at EuroKids have found exactly that kind of story for you! One that imparts a valuable lesson to your child. Namely, the Dog in the Manger Story.

The very title of the story is enough to drive an element of intrigue into the mind of your child. If you haven’t already listened to this classic tale, we are sure you’re eager to hear it too! Join us, as we narrate to you the story of the Dog in The Manger. We can bet that this simple tale of a Selfish Dog, will see your kids wanting to listen to it over and over again!

Table of Contents:

The Dog in The Manger: The Origins of The Tale

The Dog in the Manger Story can be traced back to ancient Greek times. It is believed that this tale is part of the wonderful collection of ‘fables’ of the legendary Aesop. Indeed, fables most of us have grown up listening to!

Note: The very first time the mention of the Dog in the Manger Story  arises, is in the writings of the Greek grammarian Diogenianus.

The Dog in The Manger: The Story

Once upon a time there was a dog, who was desperately in search of a place to rest. As he walked along the streets, he came upon a manager that was built for cattle. Nevertheless, he decided to make a pit stop there. He went in and lay on a bundle of straw, and peacefully drifted into a deep slumber.

In the evening, the dog was roused from his sleep by a herd of cattle that had come back to the manger tired, having worked the fields all day. The dog growled ferociously at them, not letting them enter. It was as though all that straw in the manger might be some sort of delicious ‘meat’, that was only reserved for the selfish dog!

One of the herd members looked at the growling dog with undisguised contempt, and said,

‘What a selfish dog you are! You cannot eat all the straw in here, and yet you will not let us eat it. This, despite the fact that we are so hungry!”

Alas! Those words had little effect on the selfish dog, who continued to guard the manger like it were his own. Luckily, at this point the manager’s owner came in and saw the dog. He instantly picked up a stick and drove the nasty dog out of the manger, even going so far as to hit him for his selfish behavior.

The Moral of the Dog in the Manger Story

The Moral of this story can be summed up in the following line:

‘Do not grudge others, what you cannot have yourself.’

How many times have we seen people hold onto things that they cannot make use of themselves, when there are others who are in dire need of the same? In the end, like the selfish dog in the manger, these people are filled with ‘ego’. Even if people are suffering, like the poor hungry cattle in this story, these people will selfishly turn a blind eye to them.

The Dog in The Manger Story: How Children can Apply it in their Lives

If there is one invaluable lesson that our kids can learn from this classic tale, it is the following:

‘Sharing is Caring’!

If only the dog had let the cattle eat the straw, they most certainly would not have begrudged him a spot in the manger to rest his bones in. That’s the power of ‘sharing’. When you ‘share’ you lead others to believe that you ‘care’ for them. That’s when they, in turn, care for you! Certainly, a most important lesson to teach our children.

  It’s in their earliest years that kids learn invaluable life lessons that will last them a lifetime. Just like, the invaluable Moral Lesson that they will imbibe after listening to this story. Don’t wait to tell them the Dog in The Manger Story, narrate it to them today!

References:

  1. Read.gov
  2. https://read.gov/aesop/081.html

  3. Long long time ago
  4. https://www.longlongtimeago.com/once-upon-a-time/fables/from-aesop/the-dog-in-the-manger

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