Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The First Monkey


Many years ago at the foot of a forest-covered hill was a small town,
and just above the town on the hillside was a little house in which
lived an old woman and her grandson.

The old woman, who was very industrious, earned their living by
removing the seeds from cotton, and she always had near at hand
a basket in which were cotton and a long stick that she used for
a spindle. The boy was lazy and would not do anything to help his
grandmother, but every day went down to the town and gambled.

One day, when he had been losing money, the boy went home and was
cross because his supper was not ready.

"I am hurrying to get the seeds out of this cotton," said the
grandmother, "and as soon as I sell it, I will buy us some food."

At this the boy fell into a rage, and he picked up some cocoanut
shells and threw them at his grandmother. Then she became angry and
began to whip him with her spindle, when suddenly he was changed into
an ugly animal, and the cotton became hair which covered his body,
while the stick itself became his tail.

As soon as the boy found that he had become an ugly creature he ran
down into the town and began whipping his companions, the gamblers,
with his tail, and immediately they were turned into animals like

Then the people would no longer have them in the town, but drove
them out. They went to the forest where they lived in the trees,
and ever since they have been known as monkeys.

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