The story is from the famed Panchatantra.
Monkey and the crocodile
Once upon a time, a clever monkey lived on a tree lush green with juicy, red rose apples. This tree was near a river. The monkey lived on this tree for many days and was very happy.
One day, a crocodile swam near the tree and told the monkey that he had come from far away and was looking for food. He was very hungry. The kind monkey gave him some apples. The crocodile ate them with great satisfaction and asked the monkey if he could take some more fruit again. The generous monkey gladly gave him more fruits.
The next day the crocodile returned. He asked for more fruit from the monkey and the monkey gave him more fruit. Now that crocodile started coming everyday. The two soon became very good friends. He discussed his life, his friends and family, as all friends do.
The crocodile told the monkey that he has a wife and they live on the other side of the river. So the merciful monkey broke some extra fruit from the tree and gave it to crocodile so that he can take it home. The crocodile’s wife ate the apple fondly and asked her husband to bring it every day.
Meanwhile, the friendship between the monkey and the crocodile deepened as they both began to spend more and more time together. Crocodile’s wife was jealous. She wanted to end this friendship. So she pretended that she could not believe that her husband could befriend a monkey.
Her husband tries to convince her that there is a real friendship between her and the monkey. The crocodile’s wife thought to herself that if the monkey eats such sweet apples daily, its flesh will be very sweet. So he told the crocodile to invite the monkey to his house.
Crocodile was not happy with this. He tried to pretend that it would be difficult for the monkey to cross the river. But his wife was determined to eat the monkey’s flesh and so he thought of a plan that would make the crocodile to bring the monkey to her.
One day, she pretended to be very ill and told the crocodile that the doctor said that she would be able to recover only when she ate the monkey’s heart. If her husband wants to save his life, he must bring his friend’s heart.
The crocodile was yearning. He was in a dilemma. On the one hand, he liked his friend. On the other hand, he could not possibly let his wife die. The crocodile’s wife threatened him, saying that if he did not get her the monkey’s heart, she would surely die.
So the crocodile went to the apple tree and invited the monkey to come home to meet his wife. He told the monkey that he could cross the river on a crocodile’s back.
The monkey was very happy. But as soon as they reached the middle of the river, the crocodile started drowning. The frightened monkey asks him why he is doing this. The crocodile explained that he needed the monkey’s heart to save his wife’s life and so he would have to kill the monkey.
The clever monkey tells him that he will gladly leave his heart to save the life of the crocodile’s wife, but he has left his heart on the apple tree and so he will have to go back to get his heart. He tells the crocodile to turn back quickly so that the monkey can go and get the heart from the apple tree.
The foolish crocodile quickly returned to the apple tree. The monkey immediately jumped and climbed the tree. He asks the crocodile to tell his wicked wife that he has married the world’s greatest fool.
What we learn from Monkey and the Crocodile – Moral stories for kids from Panchatantra ? – A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.
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