​The Monkey And The Crocodiles Reading

 Level: B1

(An Indonesian folktale)

Once upon a time on a very hot day a little monkey fell asleep near a small river in the forest. A great rain came, and when the monkey awoke she found out that the river had risen. Her part of the forest was now surrounded by water. She was all alone on a very small island.

The little monkey called for her family and friends, and they called back, but they could not get to each other. The river between them was too wide.

Then the little monkey noticed several crocodiles in the river swimming nearer and nearer to her. She sat very still.

“Look at that delicious little monkey”, one of the crocodiles said. “She belongs to me, because I saw her first”.

“Why should you eat her?” asked another crocodile. “I saw her first”.

“No, I did”, said a third, and all the crocodiles began to argue with one another about who should eat the little monkey.

Now this monkey was small, but she was also clever. As she sat watching the crocodiles circling nearer and nearer and arguing, she had an idea.

“You, crocodiles, listen to me!” she called in her loudest voice. “I can see that only one of you can eat me because I am such a little monkey. So I have a plan. I will choose a lucky number. You get in line, and I will count. The crocodile with the lucky number will eat me!”

The crocodiles, who were really not very clever, got in line — a long, long line that reached from the little island to the opposite bank of the river.

“Excellent!” cried the clever little monkey. “Now hold very still while I count!” Crocodiles are good at holding still in the water. All of them held very still.

Quickly the little monkey jumped on the back of the first crocodile. “One!” she shouted. Then she sprang on the back of the second crocodile. “Two!” Then to the next. “Three!” On and on she went. “Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten”. She kept counting until at last she jumped to the bank on the other side of the river. The last crocodile realized that they had been tricked by the little monkey. He whirled in order to seize her by the leg, but it was too late.

“Sorry!” the little monkey called. “None of you wins! It was a very high number. The lucky number was ninety eight! So, you will go without dinner to-day”.

“I guess I am the lucky one today,” she added. Happily she ran to join her family and friends.

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