The story of the monkey and the crocodile is from the Panchatantra, an ancient collection of fables from India. It is made up of five books, all packed with moral lessons. Its stories are fun, light, and appropriate for kids of all ages.
The Monkey and the Crocodile
There was once a monkey who lived on a tree by the river. He was alone, but he was happy. One day, a crocodile swam up from the river and onto the tree looking for food. He was very hungry. The monkey offered him some fruits that grew on his tree. The crocodile thanked him and soon, they became good friends.
The crocodile began visiting his friend, the monkey, every day. They shared fruits and lots of fruits. The crocodile told the monkey about his wife, who lived on the other side of the river. The monkey, generously gave more fruits to the crocodile to bring home to his wife.
The crocodile’s wife was thankful for the fruits and loved them, however, she began growing jealous of the friendship between her husband and the monkey. She pretended she did not believe that crocodiles and monkeys could be friends! She thought to herself if the monkey only eats the sweet fruit he sends, then he could be a delicious dinner!
One day, she asked her husband to invite his friend over for dinner so she could meet him too. The crocodile did not like the idea. So, the wife pretended to be sick, and told the crocodile that the doctor said the only thing that could heal her is a monkey’s heart— if her husband wanted to save her, he needs to bring his friend, the monkey’s heart.
The crocodile was foolish, so he believed his wife. Though he did not want to harm his friend, he did not want his wife to die too. He was very upset about the decision he had to make.
The crocodile swam up the river onto the tree and invited his friend home to meet his wife. The monkey climbed on his back, and they made their way across the river. When they reached the middle of the river, the crocodile started sinking. The monkey was terrified. He asked the crocodile why this was happening. The foolish crocodile told him that he needs his heart to save his wife. The monkey was sad but he needed a plan to save himself.
He told the crocodile that he would happily give his heart to the crocodile’s wife, but he forgot his heart in his tree. He then told the crocodile that they needed to go back to fetch it. The crocodile was happy that the monkey was very kind and generous, he was happy he did not have to choose between his friend and his wife.
As they reached the tree, the monkey quickly climbed up the tree where the crocodile could not reach him. He then told to crocodile to go away, to go home to his wife and tell her how foolish her husband is to believe her words and believe his too.
Photography by: Annie Spratt
This summary is from Tell A Tale. The book can be purchased online on Amazon and Flipkart.