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  1. Monkeys Wearing Caps
  2. The Silly Kid
  3. The Three Fishes
  4. The Three Fish

Monkeys Wearing Caps

Once a nice young man used to travel from village to village, selling caps for a living. One summer afternoon when he was crossing some vast forested plains he felt tired and wanted to take a nap in the shade of a mango tree with many branches. He placed his bag of caps beside him beside the trunk and fell asleep. When he woke up in a little while, there were not any caps in his bag.

"Good grief," he said to himself, "Did thieves have to rob me of all people?" Then he noticed that the mango tree was full of cute monkeys wearing colorful caps. He yelled at the monkeys and they screamed back. He made faces at them and they made similar funny faces. He threw a stone at them and they showered him with raw mangoes.

"How do I get my caps back?" he said to himself. Frustrated, he took off his own cap and slammed it on the ground. To his surprise, the monkeys threw their caps too. He did not waste a moment, but collected the caps and went on his way.

Fifty years later his grandson passed through the same jungle. After a long walk he found a nice mango tree with lots of branches and cool shade, and decided to rest a while. A few hours later, when he woke up, all the caps from his bag were gone. He started searching for them and soon found some monkeys who were sitting in the mango tree wearing his caps.

Then he remembered a story his grandfather had used to tell - and waved at the monkeys. The monkeys waved back. He blew his nose and the monkeys blew their noses. He pulled his ears and the monkeys pulled their ears. He threw his cap on the ground and then one of the monkeys jumped down from the mango tree, walked up to him, slapped him on the back and said,

"Do you think only you had a grandfather?"

The Silly Kid

One day a kid climbed on the roof of a house, and this made him feel very proud and brave. As he was looking around and thinking how high he was, he saw a wolf in the yard below. He knew that the wolf could not get him, and so he began to call him names and make fun of him.

"Well, well!" said the wolf; "you are not half as brave as you seem to be. It is not you that laugh at me; it is the high roof where you stand."

The Three Fishes

Once three fishes lived in a far-away river. They were named Thoughtful, Very-Thoughtful, and Thoughtless.

One day they left the wild country where no men lived, and came down the river to live near a town.

Very-Thoughtful said to the other two: "There is danger all about us here. Fishermen come to the river here to catch fish with all sorts of nets and lines. Let us go back again to the wild country where we used to live."

But the other two fishes were so lazy by now that they kept putting off their going from day to day.

But one day Thoughtful and Thoughtless went swimming on ahead of Very-Thoughtful and they did not see the fisherman's net and rushed into it. Very-Thoughtful saw them rush into the net.

"I must save them," said Very-Thoughtful.

So swimming around the net, he splashed in the water in front of it, like a fish that had broken through the net and gone up the river. Then he swam back of the net and splashed about there like a fish that had broken through and gone down the river.

The fisherman saw the splashing water and thought the fishes had broken through the net and that one had gone up the river, the other down, so he pulled in the net by one corner. That let the two fishes out of the net, and away they went to find Very-Thoughtful.

"You saved our lives, Very-Thoughtful," they said, "and now we are willing to go back to the wild country."

So back they all went to their old home where they lived safely ever after.

The Three Fish

There was once a pond far from the highway, and in it lived three fish in peace and happiness. Now one of these fish always used his wits; the second used his sometimes, but the third never used his at all. One day two fishermen chanced on this pond, and saw the three fish, which were large and fat.

"Quick, let us return home and bring our nets," they cried. "Here is a fine catch!"

When the three fish heard these words, they lay still in terror. Then the fish who always made use of his wits resolved at once what he would do. Without stopping to consult his brothers, he swam quickly to the outlet of the pond and was soon out of harm's way.

Soon after this, the fishermen returned and missed one of the fish. They at once looked about for an outlet, and when they had discovered it, stopped it up. There now seemed no escape for the other two. In desperation, the fish who sometimes used his wits began to float on his back on the top of the water. The fishermen picked him up, and so well did he play his part that they threw him back into the pond, supposing he was dead. Meanwhile the fish who never used his wits sank to the bottom, where he was easily caught, and was served that very day on the king's table.


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