Len continues the Jathaka story series
The Monkey and the Crocodiles
In ancient India in the region of Kasi, there lived all kinds of
wild animals and reptiles in the river running through the jungle.
The river was infested with dangerous crocodiles. Among them, were
a pair of crocodiles waiting to prey on humans who dared to step
into the water.
the forest, were many monkeys, who depended on a variety of succulent
fruits. Not willing to wait patiently for humans, who never dared
to bathe in the waters, the crocodiles were waiting for any animal
to step into the water.
pair of crocodiles somehow befriended a monkey who was too cunning
to fall into a trap. In the course of time, the female crocodile
became pregnant and the male was determined to go to any length
to please her.
day on seeing the monkey, the female crocodile had a desire to eat
his flesh, especially the heart of the monkey. She told her partner
that she wanted the heart of the monkey at any cost. The male agreed
to somehow fulfill her desire. One day he approached the monkey
and told him, that down the stream far away there were trees with
sweet tasting fruits and offered to take him downstream on his back.
greedy monkey, requested the crocodile to take him there. The crocodile
told his partner that he had a plan to get the heart of the monkey,
and if it worked, her desire would be fulfilled. So one day, the
monkey was going downstream on the back of the crocodile, when midway,
the crocodile told the monkey, there were no fruit trees down there
and that he was trying to kill him and offer his heart to his partner.
monkey was surprised that his confidence in the crocodile was so
crudely broken. He thought for a while and made his own plan to
save himself from the killer crocodile.
told the crocodile that unlike other species, monkeys keep their
hearts away from the body and that his heart was up on a tree close
by. Pointing to a tree on the bank of the river, he said that if
only the crocodile would take him to the bank, he would climb up
and fetch his heart to fulfill the she crocodile’s desire.
The foolish crocodile took him to the edge of the water close to
the tree pointed to him, thinking the monkey would go and fetch
the heart for him.
monkey not to be outdone, got to the bank and up a tree and humiliated
the crocodile for his ill conceived plan to kill him. The lesson
is that one should use ones wisdom in case of danger. The story
is from the Sun Sumara.
By Lenard R. Mahaarachchi