Select the desired text size
A Story for children age 4 to 6.
The sagacious monkey and the boar.
From Japanese fairy tales
By Yei Theodora Osaki.
Start of Story
Long, long ago, there lived in the province of Shinshin in Japan, a
traveling monkey-man, who earned his living by taking round a monkey
and showing off the animal's tricks.
One evening the man came home in a very bad temper and told his wife to
send for the butcher the next morning.
The wife was very bewildered and asked her husband:
"Why do you wish me to send for the butcher?"
"It's no use taking that monkey round any longer, he's too old and
forgets his tricks. I beat him with my stick all I know how, but he
won't dance properly. I must now sell him to the butcher and make what
money out of him I can. There is nothing else to be done."
The woman felt very sorry for the poor little animal, and pleaded for
her husband to spare the monkey, but her pleading was all in vain, the
man was determined to sell him to the butcher.
Now the monkey was in the next room and overheard ever word of the
conversation. He soon understood that he was to be killed, and he said
"Barbarous, indeed, is my master! Here I have served him faithfully for
years, and instead of allowing me to end my days comfortably and in
peace, he is going to let me be cut up by the butcher, and my poor body
is to be roasted and stewed and eaten? Woe is me! What am I to do. Ah!
a bright thought has struck me! There is, I know, a wild bear living in
the forest near by. I have often heard tell of his wisdom. Perhaps if I
go to him and tell him the strait I am in he will give me his counsel.
I will go and try."
There was no time to lose. The monkey slipped out of the house and ran
as quickly as he could to the forest to find the boar. The boar was at
home, and the monkey began his tale of woe at once.
"Good Mr. Boar, I have heard of your excellent wisdom. I am in great
trouble, you alone can help me. I have grown old in the service of my
master, and because I cannot dance properly now he intends to sell me
to the butcher. What do you advise me to do? I know how clever you are!"
The boar was pleased at the flattery and determined to help the monkey.
He thought for a little while and then said:
"Hasn't your master a baby?"
"Oh, yes," said the monkey, "he has one infant son."
"Doesn't it lie by the door in the morning when your mistress begins
the work of the day? Well, I will come round early and when I see my
opportunity I will seize the child and run off with it."