The Monkey and the Crocodile
There once was a monkey, strong and nimble, living in a forest near the Ganges River. Now and then, he would go to the river to drink. The Ganges was full of crocodiles, and he was careful where he stepped, because the crafty creatures often lay hidden on the muddy banks.
One day, the monkey spotted a huge crocodile near one of drinking spots.
"Come closer, Monkey, don't be afraid," he called. "Have a drink of water, I want to tell you something."
When he saw that the monkey wasn't going to move closer, he said to him, "I notice you here often. Do you ever leave this side of the river?"
"No," the monkey said. "I am happy here."
"Do you know that there are more fruit trees on the other side? Trees whose branches are heavy with ripe mangoes, rose apples, and jackfruit?"
His mouth was watering as he listened to him name those delicious fruits. "I cannot cross this wide river," the monkey said. "I do not swim."
"Climb on my back," said the crocodile. "I will take you across."
Without thinking, the monkey jumped on his back. When they were in the middle of the river, the crocodile began to lower himself into the water.
"What are you doing?" the monkey screamed. "You are drowning me!"
"That's exactly what I'm doing! I am going to eat your heart!"
"Why didn't you tell me before? " the monkey said, trying to sound calm. "I could have saved you the trouble. We monkeys never bring our hearts with us when we go near the water."
"Where do you leave them, then?" asked the crocodile, very annoyed.
"We always leave them hanging on our fig tree," he said, pointing to a fig tree on the riverbank. "See that big red shape there, that's my heart. I will take it down for you if you bring me back."
The crocodile turned around. As soon as they reached land, the monkey jumped off his back and scampered up the tree.
"Tricky Crocodile! You thought you could fool me!" he cried. "You can't even tell a fig from a monkey's heart!"
The foolish old creature was so embarrassed he dropped to the depths of the river without a sound.
This story is about being attentive. The monkey in the beginning was not attentive when he jumped on the crocodile's back without thinking. Later on, the crocodile was not attentive whenever the monkey fooled him into thinking the fig is his heart. The story would be very different had the monkey and the crocodile been attentive throughout this whole story.
For more information on The Monkey and the Crocodile, go check out our YouTube channel where I read through this story.
Renshi Michael Bunton