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Panchatantra Stories

The Crocodile and The Brave Monkey

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Once upon a time, there lived a monkey called Raktamukha, on a jamun (purple plum) tree. The tree was located by the sea coast and was always laden with fruit. One day, a crocodile called Karalamukha came out of the water, and was strolling by the tree. When the monkey saw, the crocodile, he offered him some ripe and juicy jamuns. The crocodile loved them and started visiting the monkey daily to savor the fruit. The two became friends very soon. Karalamukha even started to take some jamuns home for his wife.

One day, the crocodile’s wife asked, “Where do you get these sweet fruit from every day? I have never tasted anything more delicious!” To this, the crocodile replied, “My dear friend Raktamukha, the monkey, gives them to me every day.” The wife then said -”Well, if the fruit is so sweet, then how delicious must the monkey’s heart be who eats them every day!” Upon hearing this, the crocodile was taken aback and said to his wife, “My love, that monkey is a very dear friend of mine. How can I ever harm him in anyway? I cannot even think of doing such a thing.” However, Karalamukha’s wife became very angry and said that she would stop eating and die if the monkey’s heart was not brought to her. The crocodile was left with no option and went to meet his friend, the monkey.

When the monkey saw that the crocodile was sad that day, he asked him what the matter was. To which the crocodile said, “My dear friend, my wife is very angry with me. She says that I am an ungrateful friend who eats your fruit every day but never invites you home. So she wants me to bring you home today where you can meet her and accept our hospitality.” When the good monkey heard this, he immediately accepted the invitation. Then the crocodile carried the monkey on his back as they waded through the waters towards Karalamukha’s house, which was supposedly on a sand bank by the sea.

However, when the crocodile approached deep waters, the monkey was alarmed. When he asked the crocodile as to what was going on, Karalamukha revealed the truth to him. He said, “My wife hasn’t really invited you to be our guest. Actually, she wants to kill you and feast on your heart which must be very sweet because of all the jamuns you eat.” When Raktamukha heard this, he got very scared in his mind. But the brave monkey kept his calm on the outside, and with great presence of mind, said, “Dear friend,if this is what your wife desires, why didn’t you tell me so before? I don’t carry my heart with me. In fact, it is safely kept in the burrow of my tree. Why don’t you take me back there and I will happily get it for you.”

Hearing this, the crocodile turned back and brought the monkey to the jamun tree by the seashore. Immediately, the monkey leaped to the top of the tree and sat there safely. He then said to Karalamukha,”What an ungrateful friend and untrustworthy being you are! Do you really think I can leave my heart outside my body? Get out of my sight and never come this way again. You are not my friend henceforth!”

Moral: Those who can keep presence of mind and be brave in difficult situations will always emerge victorious.

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