This story is set when the world had just been made. An old women (why are the characters always old?) had a big garden full of banana trees. It was too difficult for the woman to pick the bananas, so she asked the biggest monkey in the forest to do it for her. She told him that if he picked all of her bananas he could keep half of them. The biggest monkey agreed and picked every banana for her. He divided the bananas into piles. He gave himself the long, fat bananas and gave her the small, wrinkled ones. When the woman realised what had happened, she was determined to get her own back.
The woman took some wax and made a figure of a boy. She dressed him up, put bananas in a basket on his head and stood him by the side of the road. The biggest monkey swung by and although he already had a lot of bananas, he wanted more. He demanded some from the boy, but of course, the boy didn’t answer. The monkey reached out to knock the basket off the boy’s head, but instead his hand stuck into the wax. The monkey insisted that the boy let him go and give him a banana. He reached up with his other hand and that stuck too. He was so cross that he kicked the boy… of course, his foot got stuck and he fell down with a bump. The monkey insisted that the boy should release him before he knocked all the bananas out of his basket. He kicked hard with his other foot and got stuck in the wax!
The biggest monkey tugged so hard that all of the bananas toppled out, but he couldn’t reach a single one. He howled and yelled until other monkeys ran out of the wood. He demanded that they should release him, but they could not release the monkey. The smallest monkey had an idea. The monkeys climbed to the top of the trees and asked the sun to melt the little wax boy. They did just that and the sun began to melt the wax boy.
The woman was impressed with how clever the monkeys had been, she gave up the banana trees to them. She decided to move to a place where she could grow something for herself. The monkeys claimed the trees!
Next Fairy Tale/Folk tale- Rama and Sita
This week’s tale is all about a Raja. He was content with his palace and never really stepped outside to see how his people lived. One year, the rice harvest was really bad. The farmers still brought rice to the palace storehouse so the Raja could enjoy his fine food, but there wasn’t enough to feed the people. People took to begging on the street.
One day, an old man came to the palace with a present for the Raja. He said it was a game of great skill that he called ‘chess’. The Raja was immediately intrigued because he loved games. The old man showed him the chess pieces and told him that the finest piece was His Highness himself riding on his favourite elephant. The Raja wanted the old man to teach him how to play.
Every day the old man went to the palace, through the streets crowded with starving people to teach the Raja how to play chess. It wasn’t long until the Raja was very skilled. The Raja asked the old man what he could possibly give him as a token of gratitude. The old man asked for some rice. The Raja laughed at the man and told him he could have anything he wanted. The old man humbly told the Raja that rice was all that he wanted, enough for the chess game.
The Raja thought this was odd. He was told to put one grain on one square, two on two and so on. The Raja did as he was told and soon enough the chess board was full, so he put some into a casket for the old man. The old man ended up with 32,868 grains by the end of the second row and for the next square twice as much. The next day, the servants brought the rice and the Raja counted. The Raja continued until the last grain had gone. He told the servants to fetch the grain from the farmers.
The old man informed the Raja that there was a famine in the land. He told the Raja that there isn’t enough rice to feed even the hungriest child. The Raja was troubled and realised he had neglected his people. He was troubled that he had given the rice to the old man. But the old man told him that he never wanted it for himself, he was putting a bowl of rice to every hungry person outside the palace doors.
Next Fairy/Folk Tale- Why The Bananas Belong To The Monkey