There once lived a group of monkeys in a jungle. An old monkey was
the chief of the group and he ruled them wisely and well. One day,
the chief's wife had a wish, "Husband, I think we should all go on a
fast." "Why?" he asked. "For the well-being of all the monkeys," she
replied. Although the chief was not very enthused, he agreed.
He called all the monkeys together to make the announcement. "My
friends, today we shall all fast for the well-being of everyone. So,
no one will eat a bite of food today!" All the monkeys readily
agreed. "Whatever you say, chief!" they chorused.
The chief thought for a moment. "When we break our fast, we will all
be ravenous. So, I suggest we find food and keep it ready to eat
when the fast is over." The monkeys thought this was an excellent
idea. Several of them set off to find food. They climbed trees and
explored until they came upon a banana tree. Chattering excitedly,
they plucked many delicious yellow bananas and returned home.
"Good work! Now we will have enough food to break our fast with,"
said the pleased chief. All the bananas were placed under a tree.
"Shall we all prey before we begin our fast?” suggested a monkey.
They all sat around silently, praying. A thought struck the chief's
wife. "When we break the fast, we will all be so hungry that we will
all pounce on the bananas together. Perhaps, we should distribute
each one's share beforehand to save time later.” The Chief thought
this was a brilliant suggestion. He appointed a monkey to distribute
the bananas equally among all the monkeys.
Each monkey came up to the pile and collected his or her share of
the bananas. Then each of them sat down in his or her place, waiting
for evening. They chanted prayers for a while. Slowly, the sight of
the juicy bananas got too much for some of the young ones. Finally,
one youngster stood up. "Sir, why don't we keep one banana ready to
eat? Then we can save some more time," he suggested. The chief was
pleased with the idea. "What a lovely idea! Our group is filled with
intelligent monkeys! Everyone peel a banana and keep it ready!" So,
all the monkeys peeled one banana and kept it ready in their hands.
now the temptation of a peeled banana in their hands was too much to
bear. One by one the monkeys started getting impatient. But no one
dared to disobey the chief. The chief himself was getting impatient
and hungry. "This fast was not such a great idea. Why did I listen
to my wife? When will evening come?" he mused. Suddenly, a baby
monkey said to his father, "Father, can I keep the banana in my
mouth? I promise not to eat!" The father was not sure. He asked the
chief. "He won't eat it," he promised. The chief thought this was a
good idea for everyone.
"Albright! Everyone can place the banana in his or her mouth. This
way the moment the fast is over, we can chew it and swallow it. But
under no circumstances should you eat it! He instructed.
"As long as we don't eat it, it's fine," agreed the baby monkey's
father. One by one the monkeys put bananas in their mouths. They
looked at each other comfortably as they continued the fast.
Before they knew it, they were biting into the delicious bananas!
And shortly afterwards all the bananas had disappeared down their
stomachs! So much for a day of fasting! But on the brighter side,
the monkeys definitely looked happy and satisfied!
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