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On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile…

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“If you’ve heard this story before, don’t stop me, because I’d like to hear it again.” Groucho Marx

On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile…

Stories are a very powerful way to communicate and convey messages. With a story, you can cut through the need for excess verbiage in a presentation, and in one fell swoop, deliver a pithy or funny missive to a captive audience. All of us love to hear stories because we can take the moral of the story shared, make it our own, and retell it with added nuances or modified words. The best stories often linger in our minds and demand that we retell them; their message often incisive, strong, true. I find that good stories don’t get tired… We can read or hear them over and over again, and they hold our attention, convey their wisdom or humor as if for the first time…

The Wise Woman’s Stone
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me something more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.
Author Unknown

Lady Gets on a Bus
A lady gets on a public bus. Without saying a word, she gestures to the bus driver by sticking her thumb on her nose and waving her fingers at the driver.
The driver acknowledges the lady, turns to her and uses both hands in the same type of gesture and waves all his fingers at her.
The woman holds her right arm out at the driver and chops at it a few times with her left hand.
Then the driver puts his left hand on his right bicep and jerks his right arm up in a fist at her.
The woman then cups both of her hands under her breasts and lifts gently. So the driver places both of his hands at his crotch and gently lifts up.
Then the woman frowns, runs a finger up between her derriere, and gets off the bus.
There is another woman sitting in the front row of the bus who witnessed the whole exchange.
She speaks up, “That was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen on a public bus! What the
hell were you doing?”
“Listen lady,” states the gruff bus driver, “the lady that got on the bus before was a deaf-mute.
She asked me if the bus went to 5th Street. I said no, we go to 10th Street. She asked if we make many stops. I told her that this was the express. She asked if we go by the dairy, and I told her we go by the ballpark. She said “Shit, I’m on the wrong bus!” and got off.”

“I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.” Mark Twain

On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile… Storytime

Stories transport us to another time while teaching us profound lessons about life. For this post, I’ve decided to share several stories with you. These are stories that will make us think and/or make us smile. Some of them made me laugh out loud… but then again, it depends on how much it takes to tickle your funny bone. Like Mark Twain, most of us love a good story; long or short. We love funny stories and jokes because they lift our spirits and give us something to mull over. Stories can bring disparate groups of people together and give them a voice to help express their joys and concerns. Because they leave us with visual memories, stories are a great way to build connections and friendship with others…

Socks and Shoes
A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel.
By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”
As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”
Author Unknown

My Name’s Joe
There once was a farmer whose wife had died and left him with three beautiful teenage daughters. Every weekend, when they went out on dates, the farmer would stand at the door with his shotgun, making it clear to their dates he wanted no trouble from them.
Another Saturday night came around. About 7 p.m., there was a knock on the door. He answered and the young man said, “Hi, my name’s Joe. I’m here for Flo. I’m taking her to the show. Is she ready to go?” The farmer thought he was a clever boy and wished them a good time.
A few minutes later, another knock was heard. A second boy appeared and said, “Hi, I’m Eddie. I’m here for Betty. I’m taking her for spaghetti. I hope she’s ready.” He thought that he must know Joe, but bade them off as well with his best wishes.
A few minutes after that, a third knock was heard.
“Hi, I’m Chuck…” The farmer shot him.

Ticket Excuse
A man was driving home late one afternoon, and he was driving above the speed limit. He notices a police car with its red lights on in his rear view mirror.
He thinks “I can outrun this guy,” so he floors it and the race is on. The cars are racing down the highway — 60, 70, 80, 90 miles an hour. Finally, as his speedometer passes 100, the guy figures he can’t outrun the cop and gives up. He pulls over to the curb.
The police officer gets out of his cruiser and approaches the car. He leans down and says “Listen mister, I’ve had a really lousy day, and I just want to go home. Give me a good excuse and I’ll let you go.”
The man thought for a moment and said, “Three weeks ago, my wife ran off with a police officer. When I saw your cruiser in my rear view mirror, I thought you were that officer and you were trying to give her back to me!

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.” Ursula K. LeGuin

On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile… Griots/Storytellers of Senegal

On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile… Stories under the Baobab tree..

There are all kinds of stories available to us and they are often told to suit the occasion at hand. The griots of Africa traveled around telling their stories and were paid to do so… Often the Griots told their stories under the baobab tree and when they passed away, some were buried by the tree. When we think back to our childhood, we remember the fables and fairy tales we enjoyed. Later, we learned parables and all sorts of other categories or genres that cover a wide range of stories. So, throughout our lifetime, we get exposed to short stories, novellas, or novels covering topics on Drama, Satire, Tragedy, Comedy (Tragicomedy), Humor, Action-adventure, Crime & Detective, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science fiction, Western, Inspirational, fiction, non-fiction and more… They carry us from birth to death.

Two more aisles . . .
A man observed a woman in the grocery store with a three year old girl in her basket. As they passed the cookie section, the little girl asked for cookies and her mother told her no. The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Monica, we just have half of the aisles left to go through; don’t be upset. It won’t be long.”
Soon they came to the candy aisle, and the little girl began to shout for candy. And when told she couldn’t have any, began to cry. The mother said, “There, there, Monica, don’t cry–only two more aisles to go, and then we’ll be checking out.”
When they got to the check-out stand, the little girls immediately began to clamor for gum and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there’d be no gum purchased. The mother patiently said, “Monica, we’ll be through this check out stand in 5 minutes and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”
The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Monica,” he began. Whereupon the mother said, “I’m Monica . . . my little girl’s name is Tammy.”  Author Unknown

A Boy and a Frog
One day, a boy was walking down a road when a frog called to him, “Boy, if you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess.”
The boy picked up the frog, smiled at it, then placed the frog into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Boy, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, and I will stay with you for a week.”
The boy took the frog from his pocket, smiled at it, then put it back into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Boy, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will do ANYTHING you want!”
The boy took the frog from his pocket, smiled, and put it back. Finally, the frog cried, “Boy, what is the matter, I have told you that I am a beautiful princess, and if you kiss me, I will stay with you and do ANYTHING you want!”
The boy took the frog from his pocket and said, “Look, I am an engineering student, I have no time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool!”

More below. 😉

“I don’t want anyone reading my writing to think about style. I just want them to be in the story.” Willa Sibert Cather

On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile… Dressed in stories…

Life Sentence
A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee, and he appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of coffee.
What’s the matter dear?, she whispers as she steps into the room. Why are you sitting down here this time of the night? The husband looks up from his coffee, Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 16? he asks solemnly. Yes, I do she replies.
The husband paused, the words were not coming easily. Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car making love?. Yes I remember, said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.
The husband continued. Do you remember when he shoved the double barrel shotgun in my face and said, “Either you marry my daughter, or I’ll send you to jail for 20 years.” Yes I remember that too. She whispered softly.
He wiped another tear from his cheek and said,
“I would be getting out today”!
Author Unknown

A Diner Quickie
A man goes into a restaurant and is seated. All the waitresses are gorgeous. A particularly voluptuous waitress wearing a very short skirt and legs that won’t quit came to his table and asked if he was ready to order, “What would you like, sir?”
He looks at the menu and then scans her beautiful frame top to bottom, then answers, “A quickie.”
The waitress turns and walks away in disgust. After she regains her composure she returns and asks again, “What would you like, sir?”
Again the man thoroughly checks her out and again answers, “A quickie, please.”
This time her anger takes over, she reaches over and slaps him across the face with a resounding “SMACK!” and storms away. A man sitting at the next table leans over and whispers, “Um, I think it’s pronounced ‘QUICHE.'”

Another reason why people love stories is that we often can relate to what’s being shared. We can inject humor into a story, add a song like the griots do, or perform a piece for all to enjoy. Inevitably, what is conveyed is the humor and message of our story.

What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story, And the greatest good is little enough: for all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams.” Pedro Calderon de la Barca

On Wisdom & Humor: Short Stories to Make You Think & Smile… A griot sings and shares…

One night a man had a dream. He dreamt he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints on the sand — one belonging to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene had flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints and he noticed only one set. He also noticed that this happened during the lowest and saddest times of his life. This bothered him and he questioned the Lord. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk all the way with me, but I noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed you most, you deserted me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, those were the times when I carried you in my arms.”
Author Unknown

A Priest and Nun in Winter
A priest and a nun were lost in a snowstorm. After a while, they came upon a small cabin. Being exhausted, they prepared to go to sleep. There was a stack of blankets in the corner and a sleeping bag on the floor but only one bed. Being a gentleman, the priest said, “Sister, you sleep on the bed. I’ll sleep on the floor in the sleeping bag.”
Just as he got zipped up in the bag and was beginning to fall asleep, the nun said, “Father, I’m cold.” He unzipped the sleeping bag, got up, got a blanket and put it on her.
Once again, he got into the sleeping bag, zipped it up and started to drift off to sleep when the nun once again said, “Father, I’m still very cold.” He unzipped the bag, got up again, put another blanket on her and got into his sleeping bag once again.
Just as his eyes closed, she said, “Father, I’m sooooo cold.” This time, he remained there and said, “Sister, I have an idea. We’re out here in the wilderness where no one will ever know what happened. Let’s pretend we’re married.” The nun purred, “That’s fine by me.”
To which the priest yelled back, “Get up and get your own stupid blanket!”

We use stories to share ideas, information, advice, hope, humor, and many other lessons. Ultimately, our images and stories help us as much as they help others…What do you think? What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy telling stories? How d0 you find the stories you share? Do you have fond memories of storytime during your childhood?  What kind of stories appeal to you? Do share! Thank you. :-)

Positive Motivation Tip: Stories transport us to another time while teaching us profound lessons about life. Find your story…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos bookshelves, baobab tree, thirty storiesGriots Sambala, Niger Griot, via Wikipedia or Storytime by Jon K, via Flickr. Stories: Found on and

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

75 Comments leave one →
  1. 24/10/2011 9:28 pm

    What a wonderful collection of stories….I loved them….I thinks so much wisdom and insight can be offered and received through stories….thanks!

  2. 24/10/2011 11:27 pm

    Gladiolas in a white vase,
    their magenta faces shining
    in early morning light
    streaming through a windowpane
    speckled with last night’s raindrops,
    bring me to wakefulness,
    adoration, and hope.

    Another volley of blossom
    unfolds atop their stems,
    assuring me that on the morrow
    I shall yet have their company.

    Breathing gratitude,
    I pour cool water from a crystal pitcher
    into the vase
    with a devout prayer:
    “May my life also unfold
    in radiance and in beauty.”

    I return the flowers
    to a corner of the hearth,
    knowing I am ready, now,
    for what the day may bring.

    I love short stories! They are so inspiring. I am glad that you did a post on it today as I am getting ready to move again and trying to keep my spirits up. ♥

  3. 25/10/2011 2:05 am

    a good photo is like a well written short story …
    the two last photos have this level:
    1) dressed in stories
    2) a griot sings …

  4. 25/10/2011 2:18 am

    I loved the story about the bus driver. I find myself asking how you manage to put these posts together. As well as being great they indicate a lot of work

    • 08/07/2013 2:51 pm

      They took some work, but I had my system of putting them together and sometimes, they took a few days. I wrote quite a number of posts in advance. TY! 😉

  5. 25/10/2011 4:27 am

    Oh I just love stories! You made me smile from here to there! 🙂

  6. Bree permalink
    25/10/2011 4:56 am

    I love reading stories and wisdom and humor work for me too. I love your selection and, like Countingduck, I admire the effort you put into your posts.
    How do you do it? Great photos too!

  7. 25/10/2011 6:04 am

    What an interesting set of stories! The way you put them together makes me choose the ones I like the most. I think that is supposed to tell me something but I don’t know what. I love the story about the Lady and the Stone and the Socks and Shoes. They are beautiful stories. I’ve always loved the one about the Lord carrying us in difficult times. (The bus driver one is very funny though, I must admit…) Thanks for a fun post! (and I love the photo of the library- makes you want to get lost in those stacks, doesn’t it?) 🙂

  8. 25/10/2011 6:06 am

    This is a great post. Thank you for sharing these stories.

  9. 25/10/2011 8:53 am

    Thanks for the giggles, E! 😆

  10. 25/10/2011 9:41 am

    A ten and I reposted one of the stories on my blog giving you credit of course and plan to post more of them sometime in the future. Thank you for being a partner in trying to make our world better. And you are definitiely an Honorary Emotional Fitness Trainer. You made me laugh, gave me something to think about, inspired me, remembered what matters. and were with Beauty.

    Maybe I need to make a Honorary EFT Stamp you could post on your bllog, But only when I become rich and famous will that have any value, so don’t hold your breath.

    Thank you again.

  11. 25/10/2011 11:57 am

    Loved the bus driver story. You really went all out on this one! I don’t know how you do it.
    Thanks though!

  12. 25/10/2011 4:57 pm

    Great collection of short stories ! luv’d reading them. I’m still giggling about the one where the husband said: I’d be getting out now !!!! 🙂

  13. 25/10/2011 6:43 pm

    Haha….A Diner Quickie and the Priest and the Nun! Way too funny!! Thanks!

  14. 25/10/2011 8:37 pm

    Hi Eliz, I love stories too. I think, young and old people love stories, though not all people like it, but most of people, I think
    Thank you for sharing all those nice stories, Eliz 🙂


  15. Savira permalink
    25/10/2011 9:09 pm

    A delightful compilation of stories…. I know where to come to for more of these. Thank you

  16. 26/10/2011 12:26 am

    I love a good story! It keeps life more interesting and keeps the imagination active.

  17. 26/10/2011 8:19 am

    What delightful stories! I loved the one about Monica and the bus driver.

  18. 26/10/2011 9:19 am

    Great short stories! You were right, they did make me think & smile. 🙂

  19. 26/10/2011 10:14 am

    Great stories Eliz! My favourite one was “A Boy and a Frog”. So funny! Thank you for sharing these. 🙂

  20. 26/10/2011 1:43 pm

    I’m cracking up over here, Elizabeth. Thanks for the laugh.

  21. 26/10/2011 4:44 pm

    Loved all the stories, some were old, but most of them new to me and ALL were great to read! Thanks!
    Now…I wonder what happened to the guy who got stopped by the cop? Did he get off without a ticket? 🙂

  22. 29/10/2011 10:27 am

    Elizabeth, where do you find all of these wonderful stories?

  23. 14/06/2012 10:27 am

    Love your blog!

  24. 16/06/2012 12:13 pm

    Wonderful stories.Very hilarious! You have a nice blog.

  25. 17/06/2012 2:25 am

    I love those stories! I think the one about the deaf mute is the most weirdly amusing!

  26. 04/07/2012 11:42 pm

    I do love a good story, and these were great. 😉 That “dressed in stories” pic is wonderful.

    • 04/07/2012 11:51 pm

      TY! It was fun and I like that photo too. 😉

  27. 22/07/2012 8:25 am

    “Lady Gets on a Bus” – the best!

  28. 23/07/2012 6:08 am

    “I don’t want anyone reading my writing to think about style. I just want them to be in the story.” Willa Sibert Cather

    dear, Willa.

  29. 05/08/2012 7:41 am

    I needed to stop and read these stories…especially Gods wife..we all need to reach out and help another…I wish I knew how..

    • 05/08/2012 7:55 am

      TY for your honest feedback… We can only do what we know how; however small or simple I suppose. 😉

  30. 06/08/2012 1:34 am

    I just loved your stories. I can’t tell stories but love to read them. Fine collection.

  31. 14/08/2012 3:43 am

    I woke up to a bouquet of likes and nice comments on the blog today. Thank you for starting my day with such positivity. I appreciate your stopping by and telling me so. I just read your story post as it was recommended on one of the “like” notifications- I am still smiling!!

  32. 14/08/2012 5:12 am

    What a lovely way to start the day- I’ll have a Quickie please- my 20 years just ended- I am starving!

    Thank you for reading my little burgeoning blog!

  33. 17/08/2012 1:28 pm

    What a great post! All of these stories were great! The boy and the frog and the mother in the aisles really resonated with me. And thank you for visiting my blog.

    Reminded me of a quote by Vonnegut:

    “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

    • 17/08/2012 4:06 pm

      TY for your feedback and will visit you again.! 🙂

  34. 19/08/2012 5:01 am

    oh those stories are wonderful. i always forget how much i love a good short story until i read one.

    when i was young, i loved to read roald dahl. as an adult, my mum bought me a collection of his short stories for adults. he’s so well known for his children’s books, i don’t know how many people know how clever and funny his adult stories are.

    anyway, thank you for a good read and a good chuckle!

    • 19/08/2012 8:44 am

      I grew up reading Dahl too and he always had wicked humor… TY for checking in and for your feedback. 😉

  35. 06/09/2012 4:32 pm

    What marvelous stories! I am a storyteller myself, and adore stories, and want to tell you, not only are these fine ones, but I only heard ONE of them before, the rest were absolutely new to me! In this age of quick dissemination by “social media,” that’s an outstanding feat. Thanks for much pleasure, Elizabeth.

    • 06/09/2012 4:53 pm

      TY for your kind comment too… I’m glad you enjoyed the stories too. 🙂

  36. 15/09/2012 10:07 am

    Love your stories — especially like Socks and shoes

    • 15/09/2012 7:06 pm

      Thanks for your feedback… I’m always astonished at the recommendations WP makes when we connect with each other. 😉

  37. 21/09/2012 4:26 am

    I LOVE these! My husband is learning English, so short stories like this are a fun read for him as he learns. I just shared one with him.

    • 21/09/2012 9:19 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed this… TY! I’m still amused/puzzled when WP suggests old posts to readers instead of my most recent stuff! 🙂

  38. 14/10/2012 10:51 pm

    I love amusing stories. ♥♥

  39. 04/11/2012 5:50 am

    i totally enjoyed all the stories here.
    i lol at some points. and the story abt the boy and god’s wife touched my heart. liked the one about Monica and her tactic…
    all of them transported me to another time and place and it was good. thanks

  40. 27/11/2012 5:30 am

    Great stories! A nice morning chuckle is better than coffee. 🙂

  41. 05/07/2013 7:04 pm

    Thanks Sam,
    I appreciate the feedback. Stories are a great teaching tool because people remember the lessons and the wisdom shared.
    Thanks for the share too.

  42. 08/07/2013 2:26 pm


  43. Pie permalink
    09/07/2013 1:24 am

    The author of the Footprints poem is Margaret Fishback Powers from Canada

  44. michael permalink
    04/08/2013 3:15 pm

    very inspirational stories

  45. 29/11/2013 10:37 pm

    Great post!! I loved all these stories, and none of them too long for my attention span!! I really liked the deaf woman on the bus one – but they were all good 🙂

  46. janshesupe permalink
    23/01/2015 2:20 pm

    Looking forward for more.

  47. jojo vito permalink
    26/01/2020 1:26 am

    I like short stories that gives insights and learning. For me they are so powerful

  48. Jho Pasquin permalink
    02/04/2020 7:23 am

    Yes, I love story telling. I would always tell story to my 5 year old daughter. It also encourages creativity and enriches my daughter’s imagination.

  49. coach4aday permalink
    17/05/2020 1:20 am

    What a wonderfully written post. Thanks for the like you have a new follower.

  50. James Gattuso permalink
    19/09/2020 7:56 pm

    Hi there,
    I love some of these stories and I was wanting to use some of them in a book that I am writing. How would I be able to reference and cite to avoid copyright.
    Kind regards

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      24/09/2020 3:49 am

      Hello James,
      If you scrolled to the bottom of my page, you will see my attributions: PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos bookshelves, baobab tree, thirty stories, Griots Sambala, Niger Griot, via Wikipedia or Storytime by Jon K, via Flickr. Stories: Found on and
      I think I found some or most on Wikipedia under short stories and other sites mentioned in my attributions on random internet searches. You can definitely use any that say Author Unknown and any in the Public Domain but, if you have a publisher, you/they need to make sure that it is not owned by someone.
      Best wishes!

  51. Nelson permalink
    18/11/2020 3:52 am

    Nice stories 😊


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