The Bundle of Sticks

The Bundle of Sticks

Those who love Aesop’s Fables might know the story of the “The Bundle of Sticks“. This story is also popularly known as “The old man and his sons”. The moral of this story is centered around how there is strength in unity. The story has been told about many rulers. It is numbered 53 in the Perry Index.

The Bundle of Sticks
The Bundle of Sticks


Once upon a time, there was a father and mother who lived in a small village. They had four children who would always quarrel with one another. They would fight for the smallest of things. They were never united.

The father and mother tried to unite them but it was of no use. One day the father got tired of seeing the children fight repeatedly. So he decided to teach them a lesson on unity.

The father said, “Children come here. I have a task for you. Go outside and bring me 4 thick sticks.”

The children went outside and each got him one stick each. The father tied the sticks together into a bundle and gave them to the eldest son.

“Try breaking the bundle of sticks.”

The son tried to break the bundle but could not do so. The father called the second son and even he could not break the bundle. The same happened for the third and fourth son as well.

The Father opened the bundle and gave each of them a stick.

The Father said, “Now break the sticks”

The sons broke the sticks easily.

The Father said, “Now you see, individually, the sticks are weak. The can be broken easily by anyone. But together, the sticks are strong. They cannot be broken. Similarly when you are separated, your enemies can easily break you. When you are all together, your enemies do not stand a chance against you since you are strong together.”


Moral of the story:

The moral of the story “The Bundle of sticks” is “In unity is strength.


Other stories which you can read

The Dog and the Hides
The Cock, The Dog and the Fox
The Farmer and the Snake
The Farmer and the Stork
The Cat and the Birds


Questions on “The Bundle of Sticks

  1. Who are the main characters of the story?
  2. Why was the old man sad?
  3. What sort of test the old man give his sons?
  4. When do the sons finally break the sticks
  5. What is the moral of the story?



  1. The main characters of the story are an old man and his sons.
  2. His four sons constantly quarrel with each other.
  3. He bound a bundle of sticks together and asks his sons to break them.
  4. They all fail when its a full bundle. When the old man undoes the bundle and gives them individual sticks, they break each stick easily.
  5. The moral of the Aesop’s Fable is that “In unity is strength.


The Bundle of Sticks – PDF

Looking for the free downloadable PDF version ? If so, you’ve come to the right place. You can click on the link below to download the free story in PDF version format.

The Bundle of Sticks – pdf

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