A tale is a story, especially one that's full of creative embellishments. You can read a tale from a book, or tell a bedtime tale to the kids you're babysitting.
Tales can be true or fictional, but they generally consist of a narrative, with a beginning and an end, made more interesting and exciting with vivid details. Some tales are meant to teach specific lessons (like your family's history or your community's values), while others simply relay a funny story. Tale can also mean "lie," like when your mom asks, "You're not telling a tale, are you?"