Stolen Courage

By Mary L. Buck, PhD

This is first in a series of children stories focusing in on the value of courage written for The Children’s Storytelling & Family Literacy Corporation (

swordThis is a story about how a terrible and fearsome warlord stole courage and a fearful dark cloud filled a land.

Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a kind and fearless king. His people were God-fearing people who loved to fly kites, kites of all colors. And on days of celebration, all the people would fly their kites so that the sky looked like an ocean of jewels. And when their king saw all the kites and colors in the sky, he would smile a simple and courageous smile and the people cheered and shouted with joy.

One day a terrible and ferocious warlord came over the hillside. He killed the kind and fearless ruler. The people were very sad and mourned for their king.

Then one day after having mourned their king, the people flew their kites again, everyone–every man, every woman and every child in honor of their simple and fearless king.

But when the warlord saw all the people—men, women and their children, flying their kites in the sky, he asked his counselors:
“What are these people doing? And, why are those colorful kites flying in the sky?” For the king wore only one color all of his life—a dreary dark black. He did not like the kites of different hues, sparkling like stars in the sky.

His counselors replied, “Before you took their kingdom, my lord, and killed their king, the people of this land would celebrate by flying their kites of many colors. And, when their simple and fearless king saw all the kites and colors in the sky, he would smile and then the people would cheer and shout freely with joy.”

When the warlord heard that the peoples rejoiced and saw that they flew their kites proudly with joy because of their kind and fearless king, he became very angry and jealous. He told his counselors: “Today I make a new decree; no one anywhere at any time in this land shall ever fly a kite of any color again. Anyone who causes a kite to soar freely in the sky will be imprisoned and put to death!”

“And that is the day,” the people of the kingdom whispered, “that goodness, hope, and courage died and a fearful dark cloud filled our land.”


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