A temple was being built in a town. There were many different workmen busy with their work. The masons were building the walls. The sculptor was finishing the idols. And the carpenters were making wooden frames from logs of wood.

In the afternoon, all the workmen used to sit together for lunch. One day while the workmen were eating, a group of monkeys came to the temple site. They started playing with the things the workmen had left behind. One monkey came upon a log of wood, on which a carpenter had been working. Before going for lunch, the carpenter had cut through half of it. He had inserted a wedge, a small piece of wood, inside the half-cut log. That way the two sides of the cut log would not come together again.

Monkey Business [Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik]
Monkey Business [Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik]

The monkey found this very interesting and started to play with it. He wondered what would happen if he took the wedge out. So he started pulling at the wedge. It was stuck. He tried harder. Suddenly the wedge came out and the two sides of the log came together with a loud “thuk”. “Ow,” screamed the monkey. His long tail was stuck in between.

The monkey started shouting loudly. His tail really hurt and he couldn’t get free. His friends rushed to help him. But they could not free the monkey’s tail from between the log.

Finally, some of the workmen heard the shouting and came to see what the noise was all about. As soon as they saw the monkey’s tail stuck between the log, they rushed to help him. After much pulling and tugging, they finally got him free. But now he was a monkey without a tail. His long tail was still stuck fast between the log.

As the carpenter scolded him, the monkey looked sadly at his tailless bottom. “This is what happens when I stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. I’ve lost my tail.”

331 words | 3 minutes
Readability: Grade 4 (9-10 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #monkeys, #temple, #long tail

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