28. The Crocodile and the Monkey



Craving Monkey's heart for supper, Crocodile swam to the riverbank where Monkey lived.
"Let's go to Banana Island, Monkey!"
"But you know I can't swim."
"Don't worry! I'll carry you."
Greedy for bananas, Monkey jumped on.
Crocodile plunged deep under the water.
"What are you doing?" Monkey shrieked.
"I'm going to eat your heart for supper."
"But I left my heart in the tree!"
Monkey pointed to the fig tree on the riverbank.
"Well, go get it!" shouted Crocodile.
Crocodile swam back to shore, and Monkey leaped into the tree.
"You might fool me once," he cackled. "But only once!"

Inspired by: The Jataka translated by W.H.D. Rouse.
Notes: For other examples of this international folktale type, see Dan Ashliman's website: The Monkey's Heart.

Here is an illustration by W. Robinson:





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