27. The Monkey and the Peas

A monkey high up in a tree saw some peas lying nearby on the ground.
He jumped down and gathered all the peas in his hands, and then went back up the tree to enjoy his feast.
"Delicious!" he said.
As he was eating, one of the peas fell out of his hand.
"Oh no!" he shouted.
He jumped down to grab the lost pea, and as he did, all the other peas fell out of his hands.
Hearing his shout, more monkeys came and started eating.
Because he couldn’t let one pea go, the monkey lost all the rest.

Inspired by: The Jataka translated by W.H.D. Rouse.
Notes: This is the Kalaya-Mutthi Jataka. In the context of the story, a king witnesses these actual events and learns a lesson from the monkey.

Here is an illustration by Ellsworth Young:

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