Once upon a time, a fox and a monkey were living together; they were very close friends.
As we know, the monkey has a curious nature and wants to know and explore everything.
Sometimes the recklessness of the monkey’s nature put him in danger; especially when he tries to play, and build a friendship with the dangerous animals, despite the warning of the fox. The monkey always laughed at the fox’s caution and the way he kept his distance from dangerous places. But the fox kept warning the monkey about his friendships with dangerous animals who do not know loyalty to a friend. The fox especially warned the monkey about his friendship with the lion.
One day, the lion got hungry and couldn’t find anything to eat. So the lion decided to eat the monkey.
In the morning, when the monkey came to greet the lion, the lion didn’t answer the monkey. The monkey blamed the lion for not returning his greeting. The lion got angry and told the monkey that he was misbehaving, “How can you greet me, the King of the jungle, with that impolite language? You must be punished!”
“How can you greet me, the King of the jungle, with that impolite language? You must be punished!”
The monkey got scared and tried to apologise, but the lion didn’t accept his apology and told him that he had made a major mistake, for which the only punishment was to be killed and eaten. Shaken, the monkey ran away and the lion started chasing him. They ran and ran until the fox appeared and stopped them, and asked them, “What’s the problem? You are friends. Tell me what happened?”
When they told the fox the story, the fox understood that the lion had fabricated the problem because he wanted to eat the monkey. The fox told the monkey that he was wrong and asked him, “Why didn’t you greet the king from a distance?”
To which the monkey replied, “I did greet him from a distance.”
The fox asked the lion to stand still, and asked the monkey to go with him to measure the distance that he had greeted the lion from.
When they got far from the lion, the fox ran into his hole and said to the monkey, “This is how my grandfathers escaped from the danger. What did your grandfathers do?”
Then the monkey finally understood the fox’s point and jumped up to the nearest tree and left the lion standing there astonished.
Folktales Collected in Renk
Folktales Collected in Pibor
Folktales Collected in Bentiu
Folktales Collected in UNMISS PoC site, Juba
The Reckless Monkey and the Cautious Fox
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Na’eesh Mabadh is a peacebuilding project inspired by South Sudanese folktales.
Learn more about this project on the Na’eesh Mabadh page.