THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE HEART OF A MONKEY
A long time ago a little town made up of a collection of low huts stood in a tiny green valley at the foot of a cliff. Of course' the people had taken great care to build their houses out of reach of the highest tide which might be driven on shore by a west wind, but on the very edge of the town there had sprung up a tree so large that half its boughs hung over the huts and the other half over the deep sea right under the cliff, where sharks loved to come and splash in the clear water. The branches of the tree itself were laden with fruit, and every day at sunrise a big grey monkey might have been seen sitting in the topmost branches having his break­fast, and chattering to himself with delight.
After he had eaten all the fruit on the town side of the tree the monkey swung himself along the branches to the part which hung over the water. While he was looking out for a nice shady place where he might perch comfortably he noticed a shark watching him from below with greedy eyes.
' Can I do anything for you, my friend ? ' asked the monkey politely.
' Oh ! if you only would throw me down some of those delicious things, I should be so grateful,' answered the shark. ' After you have lived on fish for fifty years you begin to feel you would like a change. And I am so very, very tired of the taste of salt.'
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