The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian treasure-house of animal fables, originally written perhaps about 18 centuries ago, and most commonly attributed to Vishnu Sharma. The Panchatantra stories (such as the story of the monkey and the crocodile) are very widely known world-wide and have been widely retold and translated into more than 200 different versions in over 50 languages.
Believed to have been based on still earlier folk tradition maintained and propagated orally over generations, the Panchatantra stories are said to illustrate the basic Hindu principle of 'niti', that can be rather roughly translated as 'wise conduct of life,' or 'prudent worldly conduct'.
Be it as it may, the Panchatantra stories in their various retellings often offer a delightful set of stories that can enthrall young kids and perhaps even educate them. The morals in these stories perhaps seem implicit, and some even question the soundness of some of these morals. But without going too deep into all that, perhaps the best way is to retell the story to your own children, the way you want them to hear it and help them glean the moral you want them to.
Given below is one such illustrated popular Panchatantra story retold - the story of the monkey and the crocodile with pictures. This monkey and crocodile story is a very popular one.
The Monkey and The Crocodile - Kindle Version
This story for children is available as a beautifully illustrated book with the story in verse on the Amazon Kindle. If you would like to read this on your Kindle you can buy it here.
It is the same story but in verse (there are a few more illustrations) and you can read it on your Kindle.
The monkey and the crocodile
Once there lived a clever monkey on the banks of a river. He dwelt on a blackberry tree and feasted often on the delicious blackberries.
And in the river, there dwelt a huge crocodile. Its home was at the other end of the river, but it spent most of its days near where the monkey was.
Now, the monkey was by no means selfish. He was a kind and friendly monkey who liked to share. So he used to pluck out some blackberries for the crocodile too and throw them down to him. The crocodile of course was quite happy at this friendly gesture and more so with the delicious blackberries. He spent many a happy day, feasting on those blackberries.
One day, the crocodile took some of the blackberries home to his wife. She enjoyed the delicious berries. But unfortunately, she did not, like a good crocodile, stop at that. She wanted nothing less than the monkey's heart! "That fellow practically lives on these sweet berries, he must be full of them. Imagine how sweet his heart must be," thought the crocodile's greedy wife. "I must have the monkey's heart! And I must have it now!" was the command. And the poor crocodile set off to do her bidding.
He reached back the blackberry tree where the monkey dwelt. The monkey was most surprised. "You just went back home, didn't you? How come you are back again, today," he exclaimed. "My wife has sent me back to invite you home for dinner," the crafty crocodile said. "She wishes to thank you for those delicious blackberries. I took home some for her today."
"But my friend, your home is across the river and I cannot swim," cried the monkey. "You can jump on to my back and I shall take you home across the river," offered the crocodile. And the unsuspecting monkey set off with the crocodile.
Halfway through the river, the curious monkey asked, "What is to be for dinner, my friend". And the crocodile blurted out, "You are, you poor fellow. You are going to be our dinner. My wife wants to eat your heart!"
The monkey was stunned. He had not expected this treachery. And he was in the middle of the river, not knowing how to swim! So he could not just jump off too. But the monkey kept his wits about him. He thought and thought and soon hatched a plan to outwit the crocodile, whom he knew was not so very smart. He began to talk in very sweet tones.
"My dear friend," the monkey said, "Why didn't you tell me about this before we set off? I would be delighted for you to eat my heart since you feel it is so sweet, but don't you know, we monkeys keep our hearts outside our bodies. My heart is right now on the blackberry tree." The foolish crocodile was puzzled. "What should I do now," he cried. "My wife is expecting your heart." "Then you had better not disappoint her, turn around and take me back to the tree, so that I can get my heart and then come with you," the clever monkey suggested. And the foolish crocodile did exactly that!
And soon the crocodile reached back the river bank. The monkey took a flying leap and landed back on the safety of his home on the blackberry tree. "You utterly ungrateful fellow," he cried. "Is this the way you repay my friendship? You were going to kill me forgetting the hundreds of days you spent in my company and eating my blackberries. Thank God you are so foolish. Do you really think anyone can have their heart outside their body? My heart is very much within me. And as for you, cruel and ungrateful fellow, you have no heart at all. Now, get off my sight and never come back."
The foolish crocodile sadly went back having lost the monkey's friendship and the endless supply of blackberries.
The monkey and the crocodile - moral
So what is the moral of the money and the crocodile story? Is it just to not be greedy? The crocodile was perhaps more than merely greedy. It tried to lure the poor monkey that was giving it the berries every day, to its doom. The crocodile was thus greedy, ungrateful and bad.
See this video of the lion and the mouse story - another popular kids story
The thirsty crow - moral short story for kids - video
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Panchatantra tales on Amazon
Do you think the Panchatantra tales offer ethical lessons
amaya on April 28, 2020:
my sons love it
priya on March 30, 2014:
It is nice story the child like the story very much
wwriter (author) from India on February 17, 2013:
Thank you peachpurple. Yes, many of us grew up listening to such fables. Glad you liked the pictures.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 16, 2013:
i love classic stories. Most of your stories are Asian Fable stories. Great pictures. Voted up
wwriter (author) from India on February 11, 2013:
Thank you Toytasting. I am glad you found it interesting.
Toy Tasting from Mumbai on February 10, 2013:
This hub is indeed interesting, old children stories in a fun way!
wwriter (author) from India on February 03, 2013:
Thank you. I am glad you found it interesting.
lesliebyars on February 03, 2013:
I voted up and interesting on this hub!!