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Quarrel of the monkey and the crab
Start of Story
When the monkey heard these words he rejoiced in his inmost heart, for
all his fears of being suspected were now at rest. He could not guess
that a plot had just been set in motion against him. He pretended to be
very surprised at the news of the crab's death, and said:
"I am, indeed, very sorry to hear of your chief's death. We were great
friends as you know. I remember that we once exchanged a rice-dumpling
for a persimmon-seed. It grieves me much to think that that seed was in
the end the cause of his death. I accept your kind invitation with many
thanks. I shall be delighted to do honor to my poor old friend!" And he
screwed some false tears from his eyes.
The messenger laughed inwardly and thought, "The wicked monkey is now
dropping false tears, but within a short time he shall shed real ones."
But aloud he thanked the monkey politely and went home.
When he had gone, the wicked monkey laughed aloud at what he thought
was the young crab's innocence, and without the least feeling began to
look forward to the feast to be held that day in honor of the dead
crab, to which he had been invited. He changed his dress and set out
solemnly to visit the young crab.
He found all the members of the crab's family and his relatives waiting
to receive and welcome him. As soon as the bows of meeting were over
they led him to a hall. Here the young chief mourner came to receive
him. Expressions of condolence and thanks were exchanged between them,
and then they all sat down to a luxurious feast and entertained the
monkey as the guest of honor.
The feast over, he was next invited to the tea-ceremony room to drink a
cup of tea. When the young crab had conducted the monkey to the tearoom
he left him and retired. Time passed and still he did not return. At
last the monkey became impatient. He said to himself:
"This tea ceremony is always a very slow affair. I am tired of waiting
so long. I am very thirsty after drinking so much sake at the dinner!"
He then approached the charcoal fire-place and began to pour out some
hot water from the kettle boiling there, when something burst out from
the ashes with a great pop and hit the monkey right in the neck. It was
the chestnut, one of the crab's friends, who had hidden himself in the
fireplace. The monkey, taken by surprise, jumped backward, and then
started to run out of the room.
The bee, who was hiding outside the screens, now flew out and stung him
on the cheek. The monkey was in great pain, his neck was burned by the
chestnut and his face badly stung by the bee, but he ran on screaming
and chattering with rage.
Now the stone mortar had hidden himself with several other stones on
the top of the crab's gate, and as the monkey ran underneath, the
mortar and all fell down on the top of the monkey's head. Was it
possible for the monkey to bear the weight of the mortar falling on him
from the top of the gate? He lay crushed and in great pain, quite
unable to get up. As he lay there helpless the young crab came up, and,
holding his great claw scissors over the monkey, he said:
"Do you now remember that you murdered my father?"
"Then you--are--my--enemy?" gasped the monkey brokenly.
"Of course," said the young crab.
"It--was--your--father's--fault--not--mine!" gasped the unrepentant
"Can you still lie? I will soon put an end to your breath!" and with
that he cut off the monkey's head with his pitcher claws. Thus the
wicked monkey met his well-merited punishment, and the young crab
avenged his father's death.
This is the end of the story of the monkey, the crab, and the