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The Monkey and the Crocodile

Retold from the Panchatantram by Rohini Chowdhury


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From the Panchatantram:

The Three Fishes
The Indigo Jackal
The Monkey and the
Crocodile
The Talkative Turtle


From Aesop:

The Ant and the Grasshopper
The Lion and the Mouse
The Ass and the Lapdog
The Cat and the Fox
The Lion with Bad Breath


From Uncle Remus:

How Brer Rabbit Met Brer Tar Baby


Find out more:

The Panchatantram
Aesop
Phaedrus
Writers of fables


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monkey Once there lived a monkey in a jamun tree by a river. The monkey was alone - he had no friends, no family, but he was happy and content. The jamun tree gave him plenty of sweet fruit to eat, and shade from the sun and shelter from the rain.

One day a crocodile came swimming up the river and climbed on to the bank to rest under the monkey's tree. 'Hello', called the monkey, who was a friendly animal. 'Hello', replied the crocodile, surprised. 'Do you know where I can get some food?' he asked. 'I haven't had anything to eat all day - there just don't seem to be any fish left in the river.'

'Well,' said the monkey, 'I don't eat fish so I wouldn't know - but I do have plenty of ripe purple jamuns in my tree. Would you like to try some?' He threw some down to the crocodile. The crocodile was so hungry that he ate up all the jamuns even though crocodiles don't eat fruit. He loved the sweet tangy fruit and shyly asked whether he could have some more. 'Of course', replied the monkey generously, throwing down more fruit. 'Come back whenever you feel like more fruit', he added when the crocodile had eaten his fill.

crocodile After that the crocodile would visit the monkey every day. The two animals soon became friends - they would talk and tell each other stories, and eat as much of the sweet jamuns as they wanted. The monkey would throw down all the fruit the crocodile wanted from his tree.

One day the crocodile began talking about his wife and family. 'Why didn't you tell me earlier that you had a wife?' asked the monkey. 'Please take some of the jamuns for her as well when you go back today.' The crocodile thanked him and took some of the fruit for his wife.

The crocodile's wife loved the jamuns. She had never eaten anything so sweet before. 'Imagine', she said, 'how sweet would be the creature who eats these jamuns every day. The monkey has eaten these every day of his life - his flesh would be even sweeter than the fruit.' She asked her husband to invite the monkey for a meal - 'and then we can eat him up' she said happily.

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Last updated: April 2010. Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. All rights reserved.

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