How the Monkey Tricked the Tiger

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Monkey and Tiger in Jungle

Who does not love a cheeky monkey story? Maybe our younger listeners will appreciate this most - but everyone should find it fun. Listen out for our Monkey song based on Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!

How the Monkey Tricked the Tiger
Dedicated to Jimmy in the San Francisco Bay area who kindly supports us on Patreon.

Hello, this is Jana,

And welcome to Storynory where we have a story for everyone! We like to give you long stories, short stories, stories to make you cry, stories to make you laugh, sophisticated, spiritual, scary, and plain old silly stories.

We think this story will appeal to our younger listeners - but then again - who doesn’t enjoy a story about a mischievous monkey?

The story comes from Brazil, we've rewritten it to incorporate a game of tag and the timeless playground jingle “Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!”

So we hope you will enjoy this silly, lively version of ‘How the Monkey Tricked the Tiger’.

Once upon a time, the monkey made the tiger very angry. This story explains what he did to annoy the tiger and how the tiger tried to get him back.

The monkey was sitting high up among the leafy branches of a mango tree playing his guitar. The tiger passed that way and lay down under the tree to rest. Just to tease him, the monkey played and sang this little song:

"Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!
Catch a tiger by the toe!
If he hollers let him go!
Eenee, Meenee. Mainee, Mo!
You-are-It, Mr Tiger!"

The tiger was angry. "Just wait until I catch you, Mr Monkey!" he growled. "Then I'll show you a trick or two!"

The monkey leapt from one tree to another, keeping himself so well hidden by the leaves that the tiger could not see him. Then he slipped down out of the trees and dived into a hole in the ground. When the tiger came near, the monkey called out:

“Hey Mr Stripy Pants. Listen to my song!”

"Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!
Catch a tiger by the toe!
If he squeals let him go!
Eenee, Meenee. Mainee, Mo!

The tiger pushed his paw into the hole and caught the monkey's leg.

“Now you’re it,” growled the tiger. “In fact, you’re my lunch.”

"Oh, ho, Mr Tiger!" called the monkey. "You think that you have caught my leg, but what you grabbed is just a little stick. Ha! HA!" Then the tiger let go of the monkey's leg.

The monkey crawled farther back into the hole in the ground where the tiger's paw could not reach him. Then he said: "Thank you so much, Mr Tiger, for letting go of my leg. It was my leg, you know. HA! HA HA!" Again he played and sang his little song:

"Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!
Catch a tiger by the toe!
If he squeals let him go!
Eenee, Meenee. Mainee, Mo!
You’re Still It!"

The tiger was angrier than ever. He waited and waited for the monkey to come out of the hole in the ground. But the monkey did not come. He had discovered another way out, and once more he sprang into the high treetops from where he sang to the furious tiger:

"Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!
Catch a tiger by the toe!
If he squeaks let him go!
Eenee, Meenee. Mainee, Mo!
You-are-It For Ever!"

But soon the monkey became thirsty. It was summer, and the hot sun had dried up most of the little water holes where the animals could drink. At that time of year, there was just one big lake where all the animals went down for water. The tiger knew that the monkey would have to go there when he was thirsty, so he decided to wait for him and catch him when he came for water.

When the monkey skipped down to the watering place to get a drink, he did not wait long. He ran off so fast that you might have thought he had seen a tiger! Oh hang on, he had seen a tiger - that was why he ran so quickly.

He waited and waited until he thought he should die of thirst, but the tiger did not leave the watering place for a single minute. The monkey thought hard:

“There must be some trick I can play.”

And at last, he had an idea.

First, he needed some honey. He didn't want to steal it from bees in case they stung him. It was much safer to pinch honey from a person - but this required patience - something that he did not have a lot of. He climbed a tree that stood by the road and then crawled along a branch that overhung the people who went along the road. He waited, and he waited, and he thought:
“Will anyone ever come along with some honey?”

And eventually, a man did. He was carrying a basket on his back on his way to market.

"Mmm, I smell honey," thought the monkey, and he jumped down into the basket. The man was pretty surprised when the monkey ambushed him, and he was even more shocked when the monkey sprang out of the basket all covered in sticky honey. As he watched the monkey speeding away down the road, the man scratched his head and said to himself: "He must be up to one of his tricks."

And he was right.

The monkey used the honey to stick leaves all over his body. Now he was so well disguised that his mother would not have known him. He looked like a walking shrub. All dressed in green, he rustled down to the drinking place where the tiger was still lying in wait. Fortunately, the tiger did not recognise the odd leafy creature. The monkey took a long, deep drink. He was so thirsty, and the water tasted so good, that he waded further into the lake to take a cool bath. Very soon, the leaves came unstuck from the honey and floated away. When the tiger saw the monkey, he roared at the top of his voice.

“Hey, Mr Monkey! I’ve seen you! You can’t fool me. Get ready to be eaten!”

The monkey had to swim for his life.

He was so badly frightened that he waited and waited a long, long time before he went back to the drinking place. At last, he thought of a new plan - it was like the first one, only better.

He found a special tree and covered himself with resin, which is a super-sticky goo that oozes out of the bark of certain trees. It’s so sticky it’s stronger than the strongest super glue!

He stuck leaves onto the resin and again went down to the drinking place.

The tiger saw him, but he expected the leaves to come unstuck just as soon as the monkey went into the water. He thought he would wait and catch him in his bare skin. That way he wouldn’t have to eat the green leaves:

“We tigers don’t like salad,” he said to himself.

But this time, the super-sticky resin kept the leaves stuck in place, even when the monkey dived into the water and started to splash all the other animals. The tiger thought that he must have made a mistake. He didn’t want to eat the strange green animal in case it spoiled his appetite for the monkey.

And so the monkey played in the water and drank all he wished before strolling away without the tiger attacking him. For the rest of the summer, the monkey went around looking like a green bush with legs. He was far from comfortable. He was, however, very pleased when the rainy season came, and there were plenty of places where he could drink safely. He finally pulled the leaves off himself - but the resin was so sticky that most of his fur came off too.

Ouch! It hurt.

He was practically naked!

BRRRRR! I’m cold! The monkey said with a shiver. “But at least I’m not the tiger’s lunch!”

And that’s the story of how the monkey tricked the tiger, read by me, Jana, for storynory.com.

I’m not entirely clear if this story has a moral, but if it does, it’s probably this:

Never make a tiger angry.

And that was the story of how the Monkey Tricked the Tiger, read by me, Jana for Storynory.com. It was adapted by Bertie from a traditional Brazilian story collected by Elsie Spicer Eells in the year 1917.

And I’m delighted to dedicate this story to Jimmy in the San Francisco Bay area. Thank you, Jimmy and your family for supporting Storynory on Patreon. We put a lot of time into making our stories and music, and we really appreciate your help.

We also hope that you will enjoy this song of “Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo!” that we recorded for this story.

For now, from me Jana, See you Soon!