332 TALE OF A TORTOISE AND A MONKEY
As he was making his way to his own particular palm-tree, where the cocoanuts grew, which were so useful for pelting passers-by, he met a woman who was scaling a fish with a bit of wood, for in this side of the forest a few people lived in huts near the river.
' That must be hard work,' said the monkey, stopping to look ; ' try my knife—you will get on quicker.' And he handed her the razor as he spoke. A few days later he came back and rapped at the door of the hut. ' I have called for my razor,' he said, when the woman appeared.
' I have lost it,' answered she.
' If you don't give it to me at once I will take your sardine,' replied the monkey, who did not believe her. The woman protested she had not got the knife, so he took the sardine and ran off.
A little further along he saw a baker who was standing at the door, eating one of his loaves. ' That must be rather dry,' said the monkey, ' try my fish ' ; and the man did not need twice telling. A few days later the monkey stopped again at the baker's hut. ' I've called for that fish,' he said.
' That fish ? But I have eaten it!' exclaimed the baker in dismay.
' If you have eaten it I shall take this barrel of meal in exchange,' replied the monkey; and he walked off with the barrel under his arm.
As he went he saw a woman with a group of little girls round her, teaching them how to dress hair. ' Here is something to make cakes for the children,' he said, putting down his barrel, which by this time he found rather heavy. The children were delighted, and ran directly to find some flat stones to bake their cakes on, and when they had made and eaten them, they thought they had never tasted anything so nice. Indeed, when they saw the monkey approaching not long after, they rushed to meet him, hoping that he was bringing them some more presents. But he took no notice of their