The Clever She Goat

This is one of the best Jataka Tales for kids. Once, some goats lived in a cave near a thick forest.Every day, they grazed in a green pasture that lay near their cave. It had green, luscious grass. The goats had plenty of grass throughout the year. They fed on the luscious grass and grew fat.

One day, a jackal and his wife came near the pasture. They had not been able to find any food for the last two days. They saw the goats grazing in the pasture. Seeing them, they were very happy. The jackal rushed over to kill one of the goats. However, his wife stopped him and said, “Don’t be eager to kill the goats. If they came to know of our presence, they will run away. Wait till one of them comes this way. Then it will be easy to kill them. One by one, we can kill one goat every day. We shall have plenty of food for many days.” Also, read Three Billy Goats Gruff Story.

Jataka Tales

Jataka Tales

Image Source@ The jackal liked his wife’s idea. They hid behind the bush and kept a watch over the goats. After some time, one of the goats came near the bush. Immediately, the jackal attacked it and killed it.The poor goat could not even bleat and warn the other goats. The jackal and his wife had a lovely feast.

From then onwards, the jackal and his wife came to the pasture and killed one goat every day. Life for them became very comfortable. Slowly, the number of goats decreased. In the end, only one She goat remained. The She goat was very clever and had come to know that all her friends had been killed by the jackal. Therefore, she became very cautious and never ventured out of her cave. She stopped going to the green pasture. Instead, she fed herself on the green grass that grew around her cave.

Meanwhile, the jackal and his wife thought that there were no more goats left. They decided to move away from there and find food somewhere else. As they were going, they happened to see the She goat grazing on the green grass around her cave. She also saw the jackals and ran into the cave. The She goat did not come out the cave for a couple of days. She ate the little patches of grass that grew in her cave. Also, read The Fox And The Goat Story.

The jackals waited outside the cave for many days. Yet, they could not lay their hands on her. At last, they made a plan. The Jackal’s wife went to the goat’s cave and said aloud, “Dear friend, I have come to make you my friend! I am very lonely and have no friends to share my secrets. I have always admired you for your cleverness. Please, be my friend! We can share all our joys and sorrows. I know you hate me. It is because of my cruel husband. My husband is now repenting all his evil deeds. He wants to mend his ways. He has promised that from now onwards, he will not kill any living being. We will feed only on green grass and plants.”

The Jackal’s wife continued, “I have come here to invite you for the lunch. Please, don’t refuse.” The She goat said from inside, “If this is an invitation, I shall come for the lunch but I have some guests visiting me. They have come from the city and are staying with me for some days. I would like to bring them with me to your house. Will you be able to manage the lunch for all of us?”

The Jackal’s wife that there must be other goats with her. She asked, “Who are your guests and how many of them are there?” “They are my cousins, the dogs. They are hundreds of them!” The jackal and his wife were frightened of the dogs. So, they decided to leave the part of the jungle. They ran away from there and never came back again.

The She goat continued to live in her cave. Soon, she gave birth to kids and had a family again. Also, read Two Silly Goats Story.


Here is a visual depiction of one of the best Jataka Tales for kids, “The Clever She Goat”. See the video story below,

   Jataka Tales Video