The Unteachable Monkey

Once there lived a group of monkeys in a forest. During the winter, they were unable to stand the severe cold and heavy rains. One evening they found a firefly and believed it to be fire, so lifted it with care, covered it with dry grass and leaves, thrust forward their arms, scratched themselves, and enjoyed imagining that they were warm. One of them in particular, being especially chilly, blew repeatedly and with concentrated attention on the firefly.

Watching their vain effort in amusement, Suchimukha, a bird, flew down from her tree and said to the monkey, “My dear sir, do not put yourself to unnecessary trouble. This is not fire. This is a firefly. This will not save you from cold. Go and look for a shelter in a cave or a place free from wind. The clouds are thick and there will be no immediate relief from rain.” He, however, did not heed her warning but blew again, nor did he stop when she tried more than once to check him.

Finally angered by the repeated uncalled for advice, the monkey said, “You stupid, why do you poke your nose in our affairs? Go away. Haven’t the elders said that one should offer advice only to those who seek it and value it? Furthermore, he who cherishes his welfare should not talk to a gambler or an inefficient workman.

Disregarding the old monkey’s anger and not giving room to any other monkey to talk, Suchimukha went on repeating her advice to them to seek shelter elsewhere. Tired with the bird’s unwanted advice, one of the monkeys sprang at the bird and bashed her against a rock, thereby killing her on the spot.

The Jackal at the Ram-Fight

Deva Sharma was resting carefree as his disciple’s virtuous conduct over the past few months had created a false trust in him. As he rested, he saw a herd of rams, and two of them were fighting ferociously. These two would angrily draw apart and dash together, their slab like foreheads crashing so that blood flowed freely. The smell of blood drew a jackal there to feast on the blood the two rams were shedding.

Deva Sharma saw the jackal entering the scene and thought that the jackal would surely die if he gets caught between the two warring rams. His surmise came true and the jackal died, gored by the two rams.

The Wedge-Pulling Monkey

Once a merchant was building a temple in his garden. Every day at the noon hour, the foreman and workers would go to city for lunch.

One day, when the workers had left for their usual lunch break, a group of monkeys came upon the half-built temple. They began their playful frolics upon tree-tops, lofty roof, and woodpile. One of the monkeys fancied a tremendous tree log that was being sawed by a carpenter.

Before going on break, the carpenter had thrust a wedge in the partly sawed log to prevent the slit from closing up. The monkey thought, “Who stuck a wedge in this queer place?”

Curious to know what it is, he began furiously tugging at the wedge. At last the wedge came off, not before trapping the legs of the monkey into the cleft of the log. Very soon, not able to get his legs out of the closed wood, the monkey died.

And that is why it is said that meddling should be avoided by the intelligent.