Written for the Flash Fiction for the purposeful practitioner (200 words or less). Perhaps a bit late in the day and not exactly in line with the ‘rules’ but it is monkey business after all 😀 For amazing stories click here
“Darling! You are back!” Her teeth gleamed and her perpetual grin widened. “Where’s the monkey?” she lowered her voice.
“But what about my medicine?”
“I’m sorry.” He offered her his worst abject smile.
“Sorry? Do you think your sorry can cure my illness?”
“Calm down honey. Your health…”
“If you are so concerned about my health, you should have…
“I tried honey. I really did, but…
“The monkey escaped.”
“Oh no! Don’t you know I have to eat his heart to get better? You’ll have go again.”
He crept closer. “Forgive me, but he knows…”
“Oh what a fool you are. I am done with you. Get out!”
“Tell me have I ever asked you for anything?
“All I ever asked for was a measly monkey’s heart and even that you couldn’t get. Go away. I never want to see your ugly mug again.”
“But our eggs…”
“Is that all that matters? Your precious water-ball team? You can say goodbye to your dream of an all-boys team. I will make sure only girls hatch from that lot.”
She swished away to pour mud over the eggs on the leafy nest.
I guess an explanation (or two) are in order here :D. Let’s get the shorter one away with first. Interestingly crocodiles (btw all alligators [in the pic above] are crocodiles but not vice versa…err at least I think so) lack chromosomes that determine sex. Instead, the temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines the gender. According to Wikepedia, at 30 °C (86 °F) or less most hatchlings are females and at 31 °C (88 °F), offspring are of both sexes. A temperature of 32 to 33 °C (90 to 91 °F) gives mostly males whereas above 33 °C (91 °F) in some species continues to give males but in other species resulting in females.
Wonder what would have happened if humans too had such a system? But that’s another story 😀 Coming back to the above story, many of you may have recognized (at least I hope so) as the extension of the Monkey and the Crocodile story from The Panchatantra. But just in case you have been ‘deprived’ of it, here’s the original story as well – do read, it’s one of my favorite childhood tales 🙂
The Monkey and the Crocodile
Once upon a time, there lived a monkey on a mango tree beside the mighty river Ganga. He was lonely so he befriended a crocodile with whom he shared the delicious mangoes of his tree. The crocodile enjoyed the mangoes and one day took some back for his wife. She asked him a number of questions and then got it into her head that she was more interested in eating the monkey. But she wasn’t sure if her hubby would do the needful. So she hatched a plan. She pretended to fall ill and claimed that the doctor had recommended eating a monkey’s heart. So if he wanted her to live, he should do the needful, otherwise….
The poor hubby was in a fix – friend or wife? It was a no-brainer (at least for him) and he bit the bullet. He put his plan into motion. He went to the monkey and told him that his wife liked the mango very much and in return for his kindness wanted to invite him for dinner. The monkey was pleased but sad.
“But I don’t know how to swim! How can I go?”
“No problem,” said the cunning crocodile smirking more than usual, “you can have a ride on my back.”
Thrilled, the monkey climbed onto the back of the crocodile and went off for an invigorating ride followed by a sumptuous dinner.
Half way through, the crocodile suffered bouts of doubts. He confessed the truth.
“I am sorry my friend, but my wife is dangerously ill. She must eat a monkey’s heart to survive.” The crocodile shed bitter tears. “It breaks my heart but I have no choice but to offer her your heart. Forgive me my friend, but it is my duty to fulfill her wishes.”
The monkey as you can imagine was horrified. They were the middle of the wide river and he didn’t know how to swim. Death was minutes away! He racked his brains.
“Your esteemed wife needs to eat my heart to live? Oh dear friend what an honor! But if only you had told me earlier…”
“Told you earlier? What do you mean?”
“I mean I left my heart on the tree. If you had told me, I would have brought it along.”
“We could go back and get it?”
“Sure!” the monkey beamed. “If you don’t mind swimming back that is.”
But of course he didn’t. So the crocodile swam back to the tree. The monkey promptly jumped to safety and yelled, “Tell your wife that her evil plan failed because of her foolish husband.”
The moral of the story was of course how presence of mind can save people from tricky situations but as a child, I did feel sorry for the poor hubby croc – I often wondered how she would react. Well now I know 😀
Thanks for reading! How’s this as a sample Story Club? Nope I havent forgotten and wont let you either! Do have a think over the weekend but dont forget to have loads of fun as well 🙂
Quote of the day: “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” ― Sun Tzu,