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1001 Stories Collection

The Monkey and the Crocodile

1001 monkeyandcrocodile
Added on 01st July 2020

Oral tradition Folktale from India

Asia Animals Fables Funny
1001 , Audio , Text

A comical story from the Jataka Tales about a crocodile's attempts to capture a wily monkey .

Story

A crocodile’s wife notices a monkey eating ripe fruit on the river bank. She demands that her husband capture the monkey so she may have his heart. The husband crocodile must trick the monkey but the monkey has some tricks of his own.

Why we chose it

The Monkey and the Crocodile was one of the stories chosen by Geraldine McCaughrean for our World Stories project with St Ebbes School in 2016. It is a great story to tell, with not one but two tricksters and it has been a favourite with school groups since it featured in our World Stories Room.

Where it came from

This is an Indian tale from the Jataka Tales, a collection of religious stories about the Buddha’s former incarnations.

Where it went next

Paul Galdone’s The Monkey and the Crocodile: A Jataka Tale from India (1969) and Gerald McDermott’s Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India (2011) are picture book versions of the story. The story can also be found in The Monkey and the Crocodile: And Other Fables from the Jataka Tales of India by Ellen C. Babbitt & Ellsworth Young (2015)

Associated stories

Similar stories can be found in other parts of the world. An African version sees as shark try to trick a monkey. Brer Rabbit has an encounter with Brer Alligator who gives him a ride across a river.

Similar themes are also seen in Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile (1978) where a sneaky crocodile is exposed by his fellow animals when trying to eat children.

Added on 01st July 2020

Oral tradition Folktale from India

Asia Animals Fables Funny
1001 , Audio , Text

Story Resources

  • The Monkey and the Crocodile story text PDF (38.476 KB)
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