The Monkey and The Crocodile

The Monkey and The Crocodile
By Paul Galdone

This story conveys the message that we should not blindly trust anyone. Before making any decisions, we must think. This message was delivered via a friendship drama involving a monkey and a crocodile.

A monkey and a crocodile form a friendship in this story. A monkey lived alone on a riverbank in a fruit-laden tree. He was very happy, but he was lonely. He wished to speak with someone. When a crocodile approached the tree, the monkey offered him fruit to eat. The crocodile discovered it to be delicious and began to visit on a daily basis. They quickly became close friends. They enjoyed each other's company. They talked about everything around them, including birds, animals, villagers, and their problems. Their bond grew stronger with each passing day.
The crocodile not only ate the fruit, but also carried some for his wife. His wife, on the other hand, did not approve of his friendship with the monkey. She expressed a desire to consume the monkey's heart. To honour his wife's words, he invited his friend monkey to dinner. He told the monkey the truth about his wife's wish while transporting him to his home. Hearing this, the monkey requested that the crocodile return to the river because he had left his heart on the tree. The crocodile swam back to the riverbank. Monkey quickly jumped onto the tree and threw some fruits to the crocodile before saying goodbye.

ONCE, on the bank of a river, a monkey made a home for himself in a tree laden with fruit. He lived in it happily eating to his heart’s content the fruit of his choice. The monkey was happy but lonely and wanted a companion to talk to and share the fruits with. But there was no one around, not even another monkey, till one day a crocodile appeared on the riverside. “Hello, there,” said the monkey. “Do you live in this river? Would you like to eat some fruit?” “Good morning,” replied the crocodile politely. “I did come here in search of food for myself and my wife. Nice of you to offer me fruit.”

A monkey lived on a fruit-laden tree. He was able to eat whatever fruit he desired. He was lonely because he didn't have any friends to talk to. A crocodile appeared on the riverbank one day. Monkey approached him and asked if he lived in that river and if he wanted some fruit. The crocodile softly wished him a good morning and explained that he had come there to find food for himself and his wife. The crocodile also expressed his appreciation for the fruit.

The monkey plucked some from the nearest branch and threw them down. The crocodile found them delicious. “Thanks,” he said. “May I have some on my next visit?” “Certainly, as many as you like and some for your wife too,” said the monkey. “Do come again. I’m rather lonely here. ” The crocodile visited the monkey regularly and ate the fruits which his host threw down. He took some home for his wife. The monkey and the crocodile were now the best of friends. They talked and were never tired of talking. They talked about birds and animals, about the villages nearby and the difficulties villagers faced in raising good crops for lack of rain.

The monkey picked some fruit and tossed it to the crocodile. The crocodile enjoyed it so much that he thanked the monkey and asked if he could have fruit on his next visit as well. The monkey assured him that he could consume as much fruit as he pleased. He also invited him to return. The crocodile began to pay him daily visits. He used to eat the fruit thrown by the monkey and bring some home for his wife. They became fast friends. They talked endlessly. They talked about birds and animals, as well as villagers and their difficulties in growing good crops due to a lack of rain.

One day, the crocodile stayed with the monkey longer than usual. His wife was annoyed waiting and waiting for managing the little crocodiles that had just been hatched. She said, “Who is this friend of yours you are so fond of?” “Oh, he is a very nice monkey,” he replied. “He lives on a fruit-tree. He sends fruits for you everyday. You don’t expect me to climb trees, do you?”

  • Hatched : process of emergence of young baby from an egg

One day, the crocodile arrived later than usual to be with a monkey. His wife became angered because he had to wait and manage the small crocodiles on his own. She inquired as to the identity of the friend he so loved and admired. The crocodile responded by saying he was a monkey who lived on a fruit tree. He was the one who gave him fruit on a daily basis.

“A nice monkey, I’m sure,” replied the wife with obvious sarcasm. “If you ask me, this monkey should be my food. I want to eat his heart so much.” “What a foolish thing to say!” shouted the crocodile. “I can’t kill a friend, though I won’t mind a monkey occasionally gh I won’t mind a monkey occasionally for a change of taste.”

His wife replied by saying sarcastically that the monkey was nice and that she wished she could feed that monkey. The crocodile yelled angrily, saying he couldn't kill a friend. He could, however, eat a monkey for a change of taste.

“You bring him here,” ordered the wife. “I want to see him.” “So you can eat him. Never!” declared her husband.

His wife was furious and she dived in to hide herself at the bottom of the river leaving the little ones to pester their father.

  • Pester : to irritate someone by asking something repeatedly

His wife asked that he bring the monkey to her. The wife was angered when the crocodile refused to eat. She dove into the river, leaving the children to annoy their father.

The crocodile was in a serious dilemma. He loved his wife and was very fond of his friend too. Finally, he decided to be on the side of his wife. She was his life-partner after all. ‘I know it’s a sin to betray a friend, but I have no choice,’ he said to himself. ‘I’ll invite the monkey home and hope for the best.’

  • Dilemma: to be or not to be a situation where one has to make a difficult choice

The crocodile was in a difficult situation because he had his dear wife on one side and his beloved friend on the other. But, in the end, the crocodile believed he was on his wife's side. He then saw her for his life partner. Though it was a sin to defraud a friend, he had no choice but to invite his friend.

“My wife wants you over for a meal, dear friend,” said the crocodile when he visited the monkey next. “You must come home with me today.” “With pleasure,” said the monkey. “I’m no swimmer, but can ride on your back.” And they set out.

The crocodile paid the monkey a visit and invited him. The monkey gladly accepted his invitation and stated that he was not a swimmer but could ride on the back of the crocodile.

In the middle of the river, where the current was the strongest, the crocodile could no longer hide his intention.

“Sorry, my friend,” he said hesitatingly, “but I have to go underwater now. I’ve brought you here to kill you. My wife cannot survive without eating your heart. Good bye.”

Both of them began their journey, and in the middle of the river, where the water flowed fast, the crocodile couldn't hide what he was thinking. So he told the monkey that he had brought him to kill him and that he needed to go underwater right now. His wife couldn't live without eating the monkey's heart. So he apologised and bid him farewell.

The monkey was scared and distressed. But he was sensible and clever like all monkeys. He kept a cool head. Calmly he said, “I’d do anything for you and your family. You are my only friend. After all, what is a monkey’s heart compared with the life of a crocodile’s wife? But how foolish could you be? Why didn’t you tell me before? I’d have brought my heart along.”

Hearing that disturbed the monkey. He was aware that his life was in danger, but he maintained his calmness. He was clever. He told the crocodile that he was willing to go to anything for his family. After all, what was a monkey's heart worth before his wife? But why didn't the crocodile tell him everything on the tree? He'd have brought his heart with him.

“But where is your heart?” asked the crocodile innocently.“I thought you carried it all the time.”

“Of course not. It’s there on the tree. Let’s swim back at once and get it. Your wife must be waiting,” replied the monkey gaining confidence.

The crocodile inquired innocently, "Where is the monkey's heart?" In his opinion, the monkey must always be carrying it with him. The monkey refused confidently, stating that it was on the tree. As a result, he proposed that they swim back so that he could get it.

“Oh dear! What a mistake!” hissed the crocodile. They laughed loudly as the crocodile took a full turn to reach the tree.

The crocodile mumbled over such a blunder and turned to return to the tree. They both burst out laughing.

On the river-bank, the monkey jumped on to the tree and heaved a deep sigh of relief. He plucked a fruit or two from the nearest branch and throwing them down said, “Let your wife have some fruit rather than my heart. Fresh fruits are good for mind and body. Good bye, friend, and if you don’t mind, we won’t meet again.” The crocodile, sadder and wiser, shed a few tears which were genuine and turned back to go home. He was in a hurry to tell his wife a thing or two.

The monkey felt relieved as he jumped onto the tree. He took one or two fruits and tossed them down. He told the crocodile to give the fruits to his wife rather than his heart because fresh fruits were healthier. He asked not to see him again and bid him farewell for good. Hearing this, the crocodile became sad and returned home, sobbing.