Monday, November 22, 2021

"The Monkey and the Crocodile" from The Panchatantra

Click to see Vol. I, Issue 4 of the newsletter in which this article first appeared.

Listen to the audio of this article!

This article is designed for younger readers, with activities more suitable for children. It is from an Indian collection of children's stories called The Panchatantra.

Once upon a time, a Monkey lived in a fruit tree next to a river. One day a Crocodile rested under the tree, and the Monkey gave him some fruit. The Croc thanked him and came back every day for more. The kind Monkey even sent some fruit home for Mrs. Croc.

She loved it, but said, "The Monkey eats this sweet fruit every day. Won't he also taste sweet? Please bring me his heart for a treat!"

The husband said, "The Monkey is my friend, Dear! I could never do that!" But his wife refused to eat anything else, and at last her husband agreed.

Next time he saw the Monkey, he said, "My wife loved the fruit so much that she would like you to come to our place for dinner." The Monkey agreed, but since he could not swim, the Crocodile carried him on his back. When they reached the deep water, the Croc told the Monkey the truth: "Actually, I'm taking you home to please my wife by giving her your heart!"

The Monkey said, "Why didn't you say so? I will gladly give your wife my heart if it will make you happy, my friend. But I left it at home in the tree. Let's go back and get it!"

The Crocodile was not as smart as the Monkey, and immediately turned around. When they reached the tree, the Monkey jumped from the Croc's back and climbed to the highest branches of the tree. When the Crocodile called out, "What's taking so long?" the Monkey replied, "Silly Croc! One cannot remove one's heart--and live! You tried to fool me, but instead I have fooled you!" The Crocodile was ashamed and swam away.


Some words to talk about:

  • ashamed: embarrassed; feeling sorry
  • gladly: happily; willingly
  • treat: something sweet to eat


Choose the best answer. Correct answers are in the first comment below.

  1. Why did the Crocodile come back every day?
    A. Because his wife told him to.
    B. Because he wanted to eat more fruit.
    C. Because he wanted to eat the Monkey.

  2. Why did Mrs. Croc want to eat the Monkey?
    A. Because she enjoyed eating monkeys all the time.
    B. Because her husband told her monkeys are delicious.
    C. She thought he would be sweet because he ate a lot of fruit.

  3. Why did the Croc agree to bring the Monkey to his wife?
    A. Because she wouldn't eat anything until she got the Monkey.
    B. Because she kept yelling at him.
    C. Because he wanted her to cook the Monkey so he could eat it, too.

  4. Why did the Croc turn around after he had the Monkey on his back?
    A. Because the Croc forgot something under the tree.
    B. Because the Monkey told the Croc he had left his heart back in the tree.
    C. Because the Croc wanted to get more fruit.

  5. What important idea did the Monkey tell the Crocodile at the end of the story?
    A. A person or animal cannot live without a heart.
    B. Crocodiles should always be ashamed of themselves.
    C. Mrs. Crocodile was a bad wife.


These questions do not have "right" or "wrong" answers. They only ask your opinion.

  1. Why do you think the Monkey sent fruit home to the Crocodile's wife?
  2. Why do you think the Croc decided to tell the Monkey the truth about his plan?
  3. Why do you think the Croc believed the Monkey would give up his heart?

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Questions:

    Questions to Answer: 1. B; 2. C; 3. A; 4. B; 5. A

    Questions to Think About do not have any single correct answer. However, any answers you give should be supported by what you read or by things you know ("I think... because...").