Short Stories About Heroes, Courage & Bravery

Short Stories About Heroes Courage Bravery
Short Stories About Heroes, Courage & Bravery

These short stories about heroes, courage and bravery have characters who rise to an occasion, often coming to the aid of someone else. I hope you find a great short story about a hero. See also:

Short Stories About Heroism, Courage or Bravery

“The Gift of Cochise” by Louis L’Amour

Angie Lowe stands in her cabin doorway with a shotgun. A group of Apaches face the cabin, including Cochise, the leader. Angie has killed several of his men defending her property. They talk about her husband, her children, and her right to live there. (Summary)

“The Gift of Cochise” is the first story in the Amazon preview of The Collected Short Stories of Louis L’Amour: Volume 1

“The Tin Star” by John M. Cunningham

Toby, a deputy, tells Sheriff Doane that he’ll be leaving after this business with Jordan and his gang. He doesn’t think the job is worth it. Doane put Jordan away years ago, and he knew this day was coming. His train is arriving today. Doane is older now, with arthritis in his hands. The mayor, Mettrick, urges Doane to resign and get out of town while he can. (Summary)

This story can be read in the preview of A Century of Great Western Short Stories(44% in)

“The Ravine” by Graham Salisbury

Four fifteen-year-olds head for a ravine where a boy has recently died. One of them, Vinny, doesn’t want to go, but he’s been pressured into it. (Summary & Themes)

“The Princess and the Puma” by O. Henry

Josefa, daughter of a “ranch king”, and Ripley, a ranch foreman, have an encounter with a Mexican lion. (Summary)

This is the second story in the preview of The Selected Stories of O. Henry.

“Victory Lap” by George Saunders

Alison Pope, a teenager, daydreams about turning down potential suitors. She looks down on the boy next door, Kyle, whom she used to hang out with as a kid. There is a knock at Alison’s back door. Meanwhile, Kyle, who lives in a regimented household, comes home and finds the chore that’s been left for him. Eventually, he notices a van pull up outside. (Summary)

This is the first story in the preview of Tenth of December: Stories.

“Puncher’s Chance” by Doug Allyn

Mick McGuire is preparing for his comeback fight after a shoulder injury. His sister Jilly, who’s also fighting on the same card, hurts him with a body shot in sparring. Mick realizes his shoulder has lost some mobility, leaving a gap in his defense. Against an experienced boxer or trainer he’ll only have a puncher’s chance before it’s exploited. This development turns out to be even more devastating, as Mick’s father reveals they’re in debt.

This story can be read in the preview of The Best American Mystery Stories 2017(29% in)

“Beyond the Bayou” by Kate Chopin

An African-American woman, La Folle, was frightened “out of her senses” as a child. As a result, she won’t cross an imaginary line in her area; she has never been beyond the bayou. (Summary)

Read “Beyond the Bayou”

“The Golden Apples of the Sun” by Ray Bradbury

A rocket ship is nearing the sun and the temperature outside reaches a thousand degrees. Inside, the temperature is a thousand degrees below zero, maintained by many refrigeration units. The crew wears protective suits. They plan to fly right up to the sun. (Summary)

“The Aged Mother” by Matsuo Basho

A local despot proclaims that all aged people are to be put to death. A poor farmer prepares to let his mother die in a humane way—by bringing her to a mountain and leaving her there. (Summary)

Read “The Aged Mother”

“Jonah of the Jove-Run” by Ray Bradbury

Nibley is an old man with the remarkable ability to sense the orbits and trajectories of moving objects. He also has a reputation as a drinker. The ship TERRA has to take off for Jupiter immediately and his services might be needed.

This story can be read in the sample of The Planet Stories: 10 by Ray Bradbury (12% in)

Find a Short Story About a Hero or Courage, Cont’d

“A Mystery of Heroism” by Stephen Crane

Soldiers are firing on each other on the battlefield. When Fred says he’s thirsty, his fellow soldiers teasingly tell him to go to the well in no man’s land. Fred asks his captain if he can go.

This story can be read in the preview of The Complete Short Stories of Stephen Crane(Select in table of contents)

“Into Darkness” by Greg Egan

John is awakened by a buzzer and sees that it’s red—it’s not a drill. He quickly gets ready. He steps outside just as the police car pulls up. They’re headed for The Intake, a large sphere that usually appears over populated regions. It’s believed to be a wormhole that has come unstuck. He’s a Runner, a rescue worker, who enters The Intake to help people caught inside, where some of the usual laws of physics don’t apply.

Some of this story can be read in the preview of The Best of Greg Egan(74% into Kindle preview)

“The Dinner Party” by Mona Gardner

A colonel and a young woman disagree on whether women can keep cool in a crisis. (Summary & Analysis)

Read “The Dinner Party”

“An Unnatural Mother” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A few village women make a negative judgment on Esther Greenwood who recently died. They claim she deserted her child and, as a result, the child is now under the care of the town. One of the women points out how the village benefitted from Esther’s actions, but she’s quickly contradicted. A boarder from the city overhears the gossip about this unnatural mother and wants the full story.

“Patriotism” by Yukio Mishima

A young Japanese Lieutenant and his wife commit ritual suicide. We’re taken back to witness their last days, including their final intimate evening together.

Read here

“The Bridge” by Nicolai Chukovski

Kostya is seventeen, awkward and shy, and his family has little confidence in him. He is going to Siberia to work for his uncle, but his grandmother and aunt don’t think he is rugged enough for the change. He takes his bicycle out for his last ride before leaving.

“Enemy Territory” by William Melvin Kelley

Young Tommy is sent on an errand by his mother; he is to take Mister Bixby’s hat back to him. This means crossing the street onto the turf of Valentine’s gang, a group of neighborhood kids.

“Spunk” by Zora Neale Hurston

A large fearless man openly has a relationship with another man’s wife. The cuckolded husband reaches his breaking point.

Read here

“Be-ers and Doers” by Budge Wilson

The mother of the house is a “doer”, and wants her kids to be the same way. Her son, Albert, is a “be-er”, one who doesn’t need constant activity. One day, there is an emergency in the home that reveals Albert’s abilities.

Find a Short Story About a Hero or Courage, Cont’d

“The Signal” by Vsevolod Garshin

Semyon works as a track-walker, diligently attending to his section of railroad. A neighbor, Vasily, complains about his work and low pay. Vasily’s temper leads to an emergency and Semyon must act decisively.

Read here

“The Leader of the People” by John Steinbeck

Jody Tiflin likes hearing his grandfather’s stories about leading a group of people across the country. Jody’s father, Carl, isn’t very interested, having heard the stories many times.

Read here

“The Other Death” by Jorge Luis Borges

The narrator gets the news that an ex soldier and man he once met, Pedro Damian, has died in his sixties. The man was known for his cowardice in battle. Later, he is told that Pedro Damian actually died over 40 years ago while courageously leading a charge into enemy territory. He investigates the discrepancy.

“The Death of Socrates” by Plato

Socrates is sentenced to death by hemlock. He accepts his fate with dignity.

“Moonbeam Dawson and the Killer Bear” by Jean Davies Okimoto

Moonbeam is a vegetarian and has never handled a gun. He meets Michelle on vacation and she asks him to take her bear hunting.

“The Taking of the Redoubt” by Prosper Merimee

A young soldier has to capture a Russian held fort. The company is discouraged after suffering heavy casualties and seeing a bad sign in the sky.

Read here

“The Boy with Yellow Eyes” by Gloria Gonzalez

Norman, a boy who loves reading, and Willie, an athletic boy, are riding in a train car when they discover a Nazi spy in an adjacent car.

“A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty

An elderly African-American woman, Phoenix Jackson, walks through the Mississippi forest to get into town. She encounters many obstacles along the way that test her resolve.

“The Pale Mare” by Marian Flandrick Bray

Consuela, who wants to be an astronomer, has to help her family during the charreada, a Mexican-style rodeo. She is caught between her own desires and tradition. She sees a similarity between herself and the horses at the event.

“The Dinner Party” by Mona Gardner

A colonel and a young girl disagree on whether women can keep cool in a crisis.

Find a Short Story About a Hero or Courage, Cont’d

“The Tiger in the Tunnel” by Ruskin Bond

Baldeo is the watchman for a section of train track that leads into a tunnel. He has to signal if the tunnel is clear. There are dangerous animals in the area, but Baldeo carries a small axe which he uses skillfully.

“Gun Job” by Thomas Thompson

When Jeff Anderson got married, he quit his job as town marshal and moved with his wife to a small ranch. One Sunday morning he visits the new marshal, Billy, whom he recommended for the job. Jeff has been getting some pressure from the mayor and council to resume his duties. Billy is aware of the complaints against him. He’s been having problems with Hank Fetterman, a man whom Jeff had run-ins with during his time as marshal.

“A Dog’s Tale” by Mark Twain

A dog tells her story. She  was born to a kind and brave mother. She was sold to a new owner when she grew up, which caused great sadness for them both. She moves to a fine home with a family that treats her well. In the winter, there’s an emergency in the house.

Read “A Dog’s Tale”

“The Easter Egg” by Saki

Lady Barbara is in Knobaltheim for Eastertide with her son, Lester. He’s a cowardly man. The Prince of the township will be making a public appearance. Lady Barbara is consulted about how to make the event worthy of the distinguished guest. An acquaintance suggests dressing up her own child as an Easter angel and having him present the Prince with a large decorative egg.

Read “The Easter Egg”

I’ll keep adding short stories about heroism, courage and bravery as I find more.