Beautiful fruits trees grew along the banks of a river in a jungle. The trees used to bear delicious fruits like apples, oranges, peaches, figs and bananas. A clever young monkey lived on those trees. He used to move from one fruit tree to the other and enjoy the delicious fruits.
There lived a crocodile on the river. Although the crocodile could see all the delicious fruits on the branches of the trees, he couldn’t taste them. He couldn’t climb the trees like the monkey, neither could he fly like a bird to reach the fruits. Sometimes the fruits half-eaten, over-ripe and unwanted by other animals would fall off to the shore. He would try to eat those fallen fruits, but he knew it didn’t taste as good as the ripe fruits plucked from the trees.
One day, while the monkey was jumping from one tree to the other, he saw the crocodile struggling to eat a worm-infested apple thrown by him. The monkey took pity on the crocodile, who looked very hungry, so he threw some fresh apples in the direction of the crocodile. The crocodile ate the apples thrown by the monkey. It was the most delicious apples the crocodile had ever eaten. The crocodile thanked the monkey for his generosity.
The next day, the crocodile came back. The monkey had got some new fruits that he had got from the trees that were a little further away from the river. The monkey gave his new friend bananas, figs and mangoes. The crocodile enjoyed the delicious fruits and even carried some of them to take to his wife. His wife was very excited to eat all the new and exotic fruits.
An unusual friendship started to develop between the two as the monkey fetched the fruits and the crocodile ate them. They started assessing the deliciousness of different fruits from the different trees. Every day the crocodile used to take the best fruits to his wife, which she used to eat with excitement.
She said,” if the fruit you get from the monkey is so sweet, imagine how sweet would be the heart of the monkey who eats these fruits every day.” The crocodile was puzzled. His wife continued, “I want to eat the heart of the monkey. I am sure it will be sweeter and tastier than these fruits.”
The crocodile was very angry to hear his wife’s selfish desires. “How could you even think of it? The monkey is my friend, and he has been giving us these delicious fruits every day. How could you be so cruel?” he said his wife.
His wife kept quiet for that day, but she hadn’t given up on the desire to eat the monkey’s heart. After a few days, the crocodile’s wife got sick. She said her whole body hurt, and she was going to die. “Oh dear, what can I do to you to make you feel better?” the concerned crocodile asked his wife. “Love, if you really do want me out of my misery and want me well, I will tell you what will cure me.” said the crocodile’s wife. “Oh dear, I would do anything for you. I promise.” The crocodile replied. “Last night, I had a dream that the only thing that could save me is the monkey’s heart. So, please get me the heart of the monkey, If you want me saved.” said the crocodile’s wife.
So, the crocodile decided to save his wife, even if that meant betraying his monkey friend. The monkey was waiting for him the following day. He looked at the crocodile and asked,” why are you looking so sad today?”
The crocodile knew that he couldn’t say the truth to the monkey, so he replied,” My wife is very angry with me. She says we have not repaid your kindness. She has insisted that I take you to my home for lunch.” The innocent monkey said, “So why are you sad about it? I may not be able to swim, but I can ride on your back.”
The monkey and the crocodile set off to the crocodile’s home. Once they were midway, the crocodile could no longer keep the monkey from the truth. He said,” My friend, I lied to you. My wife is very ill, and she has told me that only your heart would cure her illness. Therefore, there will be no lunch when you come to my home.”
The monkey was appalled to hear his friend, but he maintained his composure. “Oh dear friend, you should have told me that earlier. I would have loved to give my heart to your wife to cure her illness. But, I keep my heart safely in the tree. I don’t have it with me right now.” he said to the crocodile.
The crocodile knew that he couldn’t go home without the monkey’s heart. So, he said, “What do we do now?”
The monkey replied,” Take me back to the shore, and I will quickly get my heart back from the tree.” The crocodile believed him and took him back to the bank.
The moment the monkey touched the shore, he ran up to the safety of his trees and screamed at the crocodile, “you are an unfaithful friend! Go away and never come back here. My heart is within me, and how can I keep it away somewhere else?”
The crocodile knew the monkey tricked him, but what could he say to the monkey because he was the one who had cheated a friend.
Back home, the crocodile’s wife was excitedly waiting for the monkey’s heart. She was very disappointed when she heard about the failed attempt to procure the monkey’s heart, but she quickly recovered from her sickness as it was all her act. The real loss was for the crocodile. He knew that he was not just going to miss eating those delicious fruits but also miss the company of his friend the monkey.