The Lame Monkey

A poor woman lived in a village, and though she was hard-working, her son, who had been badly spoilt as a child, was utterly lazy.

The mother lectured him repeatedly on his idleness, but it was of no avail; he didn’t have the slightest inclination to do any work.

One day a travelling musician with a trained monkey came to the village. Everyone enjoyed seeing the monkey dance and performing several comic capers. At the show’s end, the monkey went around the onlookers, collecting coins in his gaily-coloured hat. But, when he came to our lazy son, he received a nasty kick on the leg instead of getting a currency, which caused the poor monkey to scream in pain.

The owner of the monkey lost his temper and, catching the youth by the collar, shouted, “You lout! You have injured my monkey for life and will never be able to perform tricks again. So you can pay three rupees and have the monkey.”

The mother had no option but to pay the three rupees, but it turned out to be a good investment. Because the monkey, although lame, took delight in helping the woman with the household chores. It soon learned to sweep the floor; it could pound the rice and do any other odd job. The woman soon grew fond of the monkey, named it Prem, and lost no time pointing out to her son that a small monkey was much more helpful than him.

The son took these remarks as an insult to his manhood and, at last, started to make some effort in the way of odd jobs in the house and garden.

Seeing that Prem, the lame monkey, was setting a good example to her son, the mother decided to stir up more interest, so calling her son and Prem together, she said, “This morning, I want you both to go into the forest and collect firewood. Whoever brings home the giant bundle will get an extra special dinner. “

The son and Prem duly set off into the forest, and whilst the monkey was up a tree breaking off dead branches, it noticed a man nearby. This man was acting peculiarly, looking over his shoulder all the time, and when he thought he was not being observed, he quickly buried something at the foot of a tree and then hurried off.

Prem soon dug up the hidden treasure, a small bag containing money. So the monkey forgot all about firewood and scampered home with its find.

The mother was delighted and carefully hid the money, except for two rupees.

When the son returned home with his bundle of wood, he asked his mother, “Did Prem gather a bigger bundle than this?”

“Prem did better,” replied the mother, showing the two rupees. “Not only did our monkey collect a large bundle of wood, but sold it for these two rupees.

The son was surprised, and his conscience was rudely shaken; “Look, mother, our monkey always does better than myself. But in the future, I will do all the work and promise to do it well. “

Rumours soon got around the village that the lame monkey was making a lot of money for the woman by collecting and selling wood. Many of the villagers purchased or caught monkeys of their own, but when they took the monkeys into the forest, they just sat up in the trees, chattering.

Which shows you that monkeys don’t like to work.

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