In a small village many years ago, there was a man who was imprisoned for a very long time for a mistake he committed when he was young. Everyday he sat in his lonely cell dreaming of the day he would be free. Then one day he heard the jingling of keys, looking up he saw the prison guard unlocking the cell door. The guard told him that he had now paid his debt and he is free to leave. Then he gave him a small sum of money and instructed him to use it wisely.
The man had only walked a short distance when he saw a person who was selling birds that were in a cage. The newly freed prisoner quickly walked over to the street vendor and asked him what the price would be if he purchased all twenty birds in the cage. The vendor told him that if any one was willing to buy all the birds, he would give a discount-then he quoted him a price. Reaching into his pocket, the prisoner checked his money and was happy to find that he had enough to buy them all.
Then, after paying for the birds, with great joy he deliberately set each one of them free, one by one. The man who sold the birds looked very surprised and asked the man why he paid so much of money just to set the birds free. The jubilant young man answered, "I did it because T too had been confined to a prison cage, and I have come to know the value of freedom."
We are imprisoned by our thoughts and attachments in this world. One who becomes free from this bondage tastes everlasting bliss and in turn helps others to become free.
Source: "Pebbles from the pond - Timeless Wisdom Tales" by Paramahamsa Prajnanananda
"Pebbles from the pond" is a very good book for kids. It is written in a very simple language with conclusion or reflection from spiritual standpoint.