How Monkey Came to Rule the Forest Floor

Once upon a time, Monkey lived on the Forest Floor, and it was a great place to live. Elephant saw that he lived there with much to eat, unlike his domain on the savanna… and envied his luck. Hippo saw that he lived there and was always safe, unlike her domain in the river, and envied his luck. Tiger saw that he lived there with many friends, unlike her domain in the jungle, and envied Monkey’s luck. One by one, each came to him, and said to him, “Monkey, you are so lucky to live here. Tell me, how can I come out of my own domain, to live with you on the Forest Floor?”
Monkey did not want to leave the Forest Floor, so he thought and thought about how to outwit these great creatures, and keep his domain for himself.
Finally, he went back to each of them, and told them all to meet him on the night of the New Moon, here on the Forest Floor, at the peak of dark, and he would tell them the secret to living on the Forest Floor.
The night of the New Moon came about, and sneaky Monkey climbed his tallest tree.
Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger came in the dark to the Forest Floor in search of Monkey… but they could not see in the deep, dark, depths… and they ran into each other. Because the night was cloudy, they could not see… Elephant trumpeted in fear and trampled them all. Hippo grunted in surprise, and began to use her tusks and teeth with wild abandon… and Tiger, in anger, growled and struck out with her fangs and her claws… and such was the ruckus that they caused and the agony they created, that soon they all ran back to their own domains, to hide and lick their wounds.
The very next day, each of them separately came and told Monkey, “Now that I know the secret of your domain, I don’t think I would like to stay… how do you survive!?”

“Only a monkey who can climb a tree to get away from such fearsome creatures could possibly survive here,” said Monkey calmly to them all… and then when they left, he danced in joy.


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