Read by Jana
Written by Bertie
Image by Adobe Stock
Sponsored by Little Passports
This is Jana and welcome to Storynory. I’m dropping by with another one of our popular Monkey stories.
It was dawn. The monkey jumped out of the tree, and crept down to the lake to drink. He scooped up the water in his paw and listened carefully for any sounds that might signal danger like a crocodile or a big cat. While he sipped the delicious water, he rolled his big eyes up at the sky. The monkey thought: “The sun is made of gold. If only I could own it, I could be rich, and then I could buy all the bananas in the world.” Then he looked down in the water and saw something glinting, just like a tiny sun. “I’m in luck,” he thought. “It might not be as big as the sun, but it’s gold all right, and I can spend it.”
So he picked up the glimmering lump of gold and ran off, chuckling to himself: “I know which animal is the biggest fool,” he said to himself as he ran along. “The man is the biggest fool because he thinks that gold is worth more than bananas. He, he, he, I’ll swap my gold for enough bananas to feed not just me but all my monkey friends.”
He found the man who was living on the edge of the village where he kept a wonderful banana tree in his garden. This man also had a gun, and if any thieving monkeys climbed into his banana tree, he used to shoot at them. Once he caught the end of our monkey's tail and that hurt frightfully.
The monkey climbed up the top of the fence that ran around the man’s garden. He saw that the man was busy collecting coconuts that had fallen on the ground. Some humans trained monkeys to climb up the trees and knock the coconuts down. But our monkey did not want to do a job like that. He wanted to get rich quick!
“Hey Mr Man,” called out the monkey, “I’ve got something you like much more than coconuts or even bananas.”
The man looked over and saw the monkey. Fortunately he had left his gun leaning against the fence or else he might have taken aim and shot him.
“What you say, monkey?” He called out.
“I said, I’ve got gold!”
The monkey held up the lump of gold that he had found in the river. The man saw it glint in the sun, and he became very interested indeed. He walked over to where the monkey was sitting on the fence.
“Where did you find that,monkey?”
“Ha ha, I’m not telling you because it’s a secret. But if you give me bananas, I’ll give you gold. And then tomorrow, I’ll bring more gold and you can trade me more bananas. And then the next day, then we’ll do the same, until you will be ever so happy because you will be the richest human alive!”
“Well that’s a very nice piece of gold,” said the man looking at the lump in the monkey’s paw. “I’ll tell you what. You’re in luck. I’ll give you one whole banana for it.”
“UH UH UH AAAAAH!” Said the monkey, “I wasn’t born yesterday. I know that teeny weeny lump of gold is worth loads and loads of ripe yellow bananas.”
“I see you are a smart monkey,” said the man. “I’ll give you ten bananas for that lump of gold.”
“Make it 23 bananas and you’ve got a deal,” said the monkey.
“23 bananas! How can one monkey eat so many bananas? They will just rot and go to waste.”
“They won’t because all my friends like bananas just as much as I do,”said the monkey, and he put his fingers in his mouth and whistled. Very soon a whole bunch of hungry monkeys came swinging through the trees.
“All right, you got yourself a good deal,” said the man, who went to fetch 23 bananas in a big basket. Fortunately he did not know that the monkey could not count, or else he might have cheated him. All the monkey friends collected a banana, and there were three left for our monkey.
“Nice to do business with you,” called out the man as they swung away. “Be sure to come back tomorrow and bring more gold. Bring as much as you can. Any time you’ve got gold, I’ve got bananas.”
Because you see, the man thought he had made a very good bargain. He hoped the monkeys would bring him so much gold that he could move out of the village and buy a big palace and live like a Raj!
The next day, the monkey again went down to the river where he found another lump of gold. He took it in his paw, and scampered off laughing as he thought of all the bananas he was going to buy. The gold was twice as big as the previous day, so he could buy even more bananas - like 30 or 13 or 63 - or - well more anyway.
But this time, just before he reached the village, the tiger jumped down from a tree and stood in his way.
“What trick are you planning to play now, monkey?” He growled.
“No trick,” said the monkey. “I’m rich. I’ve got gold.”
“Gold?” asked the tiger. “What’s that?”
“See here,” said the monkey, showing him the lump of gold.
“What use is that yellow thing?”
“None to us,” said the monkey. “But the man values it greatly and will give me 73 bananas for this little lump of gold.”
“Really? And what does the man want that little lump for?”
“He puts it in his magical pot and it feeds his entire family including all his nephews and nieces,” said the monkey, who really had no idea what gold was for, but did not like to sound ignorant.
“Fascinating,” said the tiger. “But here’s the law of the jungle.. I’m bigger and stronger and more fierce than you, so what’s yours is mine. Hand over your gold or I’ll eat you up!”
“Why would you want this teeny weeny piece of gold?” asked the monkey. “I’m so little and weak, this is all I can carry. But a big strong tiger like you can carry a huge piece of gold to the man. And then the man will give you anything you want. You could ask him for a whole cart full of catnip, or a field full of fat juicy lamb chops, or a giant tree house overlooking the ocean.”
“I could, could I?”
“Yes, But you’d better hurry before the other animals dig up all the gold and there won’t be any left for you.”
“Dig it up, you say? Where is the gold?”
“Listen carefully,” said the monkey whispering. “The greedy old bear lives on top of a gold mine. He doesn’t want to share it with anyone, so he’s keeping it all for himself. But there’s gold in the ground all around his cave. If you dig a deep hole anywhere near his cave, you’ll be rich. But hurry because the secret is getting round and all the other animals want the gold for themselves. Hurry! Hurry, hurry, hurry!
The tiger roared: “I knew that bear was hiding something from us all . He’s so selfish and greedy!” and he bounded off to the part of the forest where the bear lived.
Now the monkey laughed to himself and he went on his way to the man’s garden. The man was waiting for him to appear on top of the wall, and when he did, he was ready with his gun and he took a shot at him. Fortunately he missed. The monkey grabbed a vine and swung up into a tree.
“Hey, if you shoot me, I can’t give you my gold!” he cried.
“You cheating monkey!” shouted back the man. “That’s ain’t real gold. That’s Fool’s Gold!”
You see, the monkey had found pyrite in the river. Pyrite is yellow like gold, but it’s not real gold - it just looks like it - and it’s not valuable at all. it’s often called Fool’s Gold. The man had taken his gold to the market where the traders laughed at him. That’s why he was so angry with the monkey.
“Didn’t it taste nice?” asked the monkey, and the man took another shot at him, so he thought he had better get away fast.
“Oh well,” he thought, “I won’t get rich this time. But hey, at least I bought some bananas yesterday. And I wonder how the tiger is getting on with the bear? You never know, he might find some real gold. That would be funny wouldn’t it If there was real gold in the place where I made up a story about a gold mine?”
By the time he reached the bear’s cave, word had got around the forest that there was gold buried under the ground there. The animals did not know what gold was, but the crows told them that it would make them rich, so they all caught gold fever and rushed like mad to the bear’s cave. All the animals started to dig holes. The commotion woke up the bear, who emerged from his cave and growled:
“Hey what’s going on? Why are you all digging up the ground around my cave? What a mess you’re making. Go away! Stop ruining my garden patio!”
At which the tiger turned round and said: “You, greedy bear have been living on top of a gold mine all this time and kept it secret. Didn’t your mother-bear tell you that sharing is caring?”
“I’m not a caring or a sharing bear - and this is my property - you are all digging up my garden. All of you - SCRAM!”
“Don’t tell me to scram!” roared the tiger, and soon the tiger and the bear came to blows.
Of course the cheeky monkey thought all of this was hugely funny, and he was so busy laughing that he forgot all about his disappointment about the Fool’s Gold and not being rich. Because what monkey’s likes best in the world - even more than they like bananas - is to play pranks on the other animals!
And that was the story called Monkey’s Gold, adapted by Bertie for Storynory and read by me, Jana. And - hang on because in just over a minute, we have some more musical monkey business for you, but first, let’s hear from this week’s wonderful sponsor, Little Passports!
So as you know, our Monkey plays the guitar - and here’s his original hit song, the Pegamina Pongo Tree! For now, from me Jana, at Storynory.com see you next time!