The Tortoise and the Monkey
by José Rizal
SUMMARY: The tortoise and the monkey once found a banana tree floating on the waves of a river. It was a very fine tree, with large green leaves and with roots. They took it ashore. "Let us divide it," said the tortoise," and plant each of portion. They cut it in the middle, and the monkey, as the stronger one, took for himself the upper part of the tree, thinking that it would grow quicker, for it had leaves. The tortoise, as the weaker, had the lower part that looked ugly although it had roots. After some days, they met. "Hello, Mr. Monkey," said the tortoise, "how are you getting on with your banana tree?" "Alas," said the monkey, "it has been dead a long time! And yours, Miss Tortoise?" "Very nice indeed, with leaves and fruits, but I cannot climb up to gather them." "Never mind," said the malicious monkey, "I will climb up and pick them for you." "Do, Mr. Monkey," replied the tortoise gratefully.
And so they walked toward the tortoise's house. As soon as the monkey saw the bright yellow fruits hanging between the large green leaves, he climbed up and began plundering, munching and gobbling as quick as he could. "But give me some, too," said the tortoise, seeing that the monkey did not take the slightest notice of her. "Not even a bit of the skin, if it is eatable," replied the moneky, both his cheeks crammed with banana. The tortoise planned revenge. She went to the river, picked up some pointed shells, planted them around the banana tree, and hid herself under a coconut shell. When the monkey came down, he hurt himself and began to bleed. After a long search he found the tortoise. "Now you must pay for your wickedness. You must die. But as I am very generous, I will let you choose your death. Shall I pound you in a mortar, or shall I throw you into the water? Which do you prefer?" "The mortar, the mortar!" answered the tortoise. "I am so afraid of getting drowned." "O, ho!" laughed the monkey,...
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