The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

THE MONKEY AND THE JELLY-FISH 279
had shells. At the sight of the gay and lively monkey crouching under a tall rock, with his eyes closed and his head bent, the jelly-fish was filled with pity, and stopped, saying, ' Ah, poor fellow, no wonder you weep ; a few days more, and they will come and kill you and give your liver to the queen to eat.'
The monkey shrank back horrified at these words and asked the jelly-fish what crime he had committed that deserved death.
'Oh, none at all,' replied the jelly-fish, ' but your liver is the only thing that will cure our queen, and how can we get at it without killing you ? You had better submit to your fate, and make no noise about it, for though I pity you from my heart there is no way of helping you.' Then he went away, leaving the ape cold with horror.
At first he felt as if his liver was already being taken from his body, but soon he began to wonder if there was no means of escaping this terrible death, and at length he invented a plan which he thought would do. For a few days he pretended to be gay and happy as before, but when the sun went in, and rain fell in torrents, he wept and howled from dawn to dark, till the turtle, who was his head keeper, heard him, and came to see what was the matter. Then the monkey told him that before he left home he had hung his liver out on a bush to dry, and if it was always going to rain like this it would become quite useless. And the rogue made such a fuss and moan­ing that he would have melted a heart of stone, and nothing would content him but that somebody should carry him back to land and let him fetch his liver again.
The queen's councillors were not the wisest of people, and they decided between them that the turtle should take the monkey back to his native land and allow him to get his liver off the bush, but desired the turtle not to lose sight of his charge for a single moment. The monkey knew this, but trusted to his power of beguiling the turtle when the time came, and mounted on his back with feelings of
Previous Contents Next