The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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276 THE MONKEY AND THE JELLY-FISH
all his efforts to keep awake. By-and-by some apes, who had been peeping at him from the tops of the trees, where they had beeu carefully hidden from the turtle's eyes, stole noiselessly down, and stood round staring at him, for they had never seen a turtle before, and did not know what to make of it. At last one young monkey, bolder than the rest, stooped down and stroked the shining shell that the strange new creature wore on its back. The movement, gentle though it was, woke the turtle. With one sweep he seized the monkey's hand in his mouth, and held it tight, in spite of every effort to pull it away. The other apes, seeing that the turtle was not to be trifled with, ran off, leaving their young brother to his fate.
Then the turtle said to the monkey, ' If you will be quiet, and do what I tell you, I won't hurt you. But you must get on my back and come with me.'
The monkey, seeing there was no help for it, did as he was bid ; indeed he could not have resisted, as his hand was still in the turtle's mouth.
Delighted at having secured his prize, the turtle hastened back to the shore and plunged quickly into the water. He swam faster than he had ever done before, and soon reached the royal palace. Shouts of joy broke forth from the attendants when he was seen approach­ing, and some of them ran to tell the queen that the monkey was there, and that before long she would be as well as ever she was. In fact, so great was their relief that they gave the monkey such a kind welcome, and were so anxious to make him happy and comfortable, that he soon forgot all the fears that had beset him as to his fate, and was generally quite at his ease, though every now and then a fit of home-sickness would come over him, and he would hide himself in some dark corner till it had passed away.
It was during one of these attacks of sadness that a jelly-fish happened to swim by. At that time jelly-fishes
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