Tuesday, December 27, 2016

THE TORTOISE AND MONKEY (Elementary-Intermediate level)

A tortoise and a monkey were great friends, and as they were on the road one day, a man passed laden with plantains. And the monkey, seeing him, said "You go and wait on the road, and when the man pursues you, run away. And so the man put down his load (the monkey having hid in the jungle), and ran after the tortoise. Then the monkey came out of the jungle and took the plantains and molasses that the man bare, and climbed with them into a tree. Then the man, not being able to catch the tortoise, returned, and, not getting his things, went home. Then the tortoise returned and asked his friend for his share of the plantains and molasses. And the monkey offered him for molasses potsherds and for plantains their skins only; and, when the tortoise insisted, the monkey got angry and hoisted his friend into the tree, saying "See for yourself, if any plantains or molasses be left." And so he went away and left him. And he could not get down, and one by one various animals came under the tree, but could not help him. And last of these came a very aged rhinoceros, and the tortoise begged leave to jump down on his back. And to this the rhinoceros consented, and so the tortoise leapt down, with such force that he broke the old rhinoceros' back. Then he covered up the corpse with leaves, and going to the king's court, sat him down under the king's throne; and, when the royal council was assembled, the tortoise sneezed loudly, "Who dared to sneeze?" said the king. "Cut off his nose!" But they all with one accord declared that they had not sneezed, and, after he had sneezed once or twice again, someone saw the tortoise under the king's throne. So he said respectfully "If your Majesty wishes, you can kill me, but I have something to say: There is some living thing under your Majesty's throne. Without doubt, it was that which sneezed." On which the king, looking under his throne, saw the tortoise, and ordered them to cut off his nose. But the tortoise said "Do not cut off my nose, and in return I will give your Majesty a rhinoceros." And at first the king was angry, but for his entreating gave him men with him to fetch his rhinoceros, and when the men returned with the body of the rhinoceros, the king was very pleased, and gave the tortoise a horse.
And as he was riding off, he met the monkey and told him that the king had given him the horse. And when the monkey asked him why, he said that he had jumped on to a common lizard from the tree, on which the monkey had left him and had killed it. And that then he had covered it up with leaves and told the king it was a rhinoceros. And the king was pleased and gave him a horse. So the monkey killed a lizard, and went and told the king it was a rhinoceros, and got his nose cut off for his pains. And that's all!

No comments:

Post a Comment