The Monkey and the Crab

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Japanese folk tales

The Monkey and the Crab

Once upon a time, there was a crab who found a rice ball. As she was walking home with her prize, she met a monkey who was carrying a persimmon seed. The monkey, seeing the rice ball, was filled with greed and wanted to eat it. So, he suggested to the crab that they trade the rice ball for the persimmon seed, promising that the seed would grow into a tree with many delicious persimmons. The crab agreed, thinking it was a good idea.

The crab planted the persimmon seed in her garden and took care of it every day. Soon, the seed grew into a tall tree with many persimmons hanging from its branches. When the persimmons were ripe, the crab couldn’t reach them because she was too small. She asked the monkey for help.

The monkey climbed the tree and started eating the ripe persimmons. He threw down the hard, unripe ones to the crab, hitting and injuring her. The poor crab was badly hurt and crawled back to her home.

The other animals in the village—like the bee, the chestnut, the millstone, and the cow dung—were very upset when they heard what had happened. They decided to help the crab get revenge on the monkey.

One day, when the monkey was visiting the crab’s house, the friends set their plan into action. The chestnut hid in the fireplace, the bee hid in the water bucket, the millstone stayed on the roof, and the cow dung stayed by the door.

When the monkey entered the house and tried to warm himself by the fire, the chestnut popped and burned him. He ran to the water bucket to cool down, and the bee stung him. In pain, he rushed outside, only to have the millstone fall on him from the roof. Finally, as he stumbled away, he slipped on the cow dung and fell hard.

The monkey learned his lesson and apologized to the crab for his greed and cruelty. From that day on, the monkey and the crab lived peacefully, and the crab’s friends always looked out for her.

This story teaches us about the consequences of greed and the importance of justice and friendship.

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