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The Monkey and the Crocodile

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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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crocodile The crocodile was appalled - how could he eat his friend? He tried to explain to his wife that he could not possibly eat the monkey. 'He is my only true friend', he said. But she would not listen - she must eat the monkey. 'Since when do crocodiles eat fruit and spare animals?' she asked. When the crocodile would not agree to eat the monkey, she pretended to fall very sick. 'Only a monkey's heart can cure me', she wailed to her husband. 'If you love me you will get your friend the monkey and let me eat his heart.'

The poor crocodile did not know what to do - he did not want to eat his friend, but he could not let his wife die. At last he decided to bring the monkey to his wife.

'O dear friend', he called as soon as reached the jamun tree. ' My wife insists that you come to us for a meal. She is grateful for all the fruit that you have sent her, and asks that I bring you home with me.' The monkey was flattered, but said he could not possibly go because he did not know how to swim. 'Don't worry about that', said the crocodile. 'I'll carry you on my back.' The monkey agreed and jumped onto the crocodile's back.

The crocodile swam with him out into the deep wide river. When they were far away from the bank and the jamun tree, he said, 'My wife is very ill. The only thing that will cure her is a monkey's heart. So, dear friend, this will be the end of you and of our friendship.' The monkey was horrified. What could he do to save himself? He thought quickly and said 'Dear friend, I am very sorry to hear of your wife's illness and I am glad that I will be able to help her. But I have left my heart behind on the jamun tree. Do you think we could go back so that I can fetch it for your wife?'

monkey The crocodile believed the monkey. He turned and swam quickly to the jamun tree. The monkey leaped off his back and into the safety of his tree. 'False and foolish friend,' he called. 'Don't you know that we carry our hearts within us? I will never trust you again or ever give you fruit from my tree. Go away and don't come back again.'

The crocodile felt really foolish - he had lost a friend and a supply of good sweet fruit. The monkey had saved himself because he had thought quickly. He realised that a monkey and a crocodile could never be true friends - crocodiles preferred to eat monkeys rather than be friends with them.

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

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