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The Frog and the Black-Handed Monkey

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Long agofrogs and black-handed monkeys were friends. The monkeys would take the frogs high into the trees to show them the world from aboveand the frogs would help the monkeys get fruit that had dropped into the water.

One day a frog decided to play a trick on one of the black-handed monkeys. He gathered much food and invited the monkey to a feast. His monkey friend was glad to eat with his friend.

"First" said the frog"let us wash our hands till they are clean." The frog showed the monkey how to wash in the stream. "Your hands are black because they are dirty" said the frog.

The monkey washed and washedbut its hands stayed black. The frog told the monkey to scrape the dirt off with sand. The monkey did not know betterand scraped its hands with sand till they bled. Still the hands were black. The frog could hardly keep from laughing at his cruel trick.

"You hands are so black! They must be filthy with dirt. Rub them on these sharp rocks. Then they will be clean and white enough for our feast" advised the frog.

The poor monkey tore its skin on the rocks till the pain was too great. The frog told the monkey to go awaysince its hands could not be cleaned enough to eat with the frog. Sadlythe monkey left with only its bloody hands and its hunger to show for the day.

When the monkey told the other monkeys what had happeneda wise older monkey explained that all their hands were black because they were supposed to beand not because of dirt. The monkey was angry at the cruel trick of the frog.

Some time later the monkey invited the frog up into the trees to share some fruit that only grew high above the ground. Gently the frog was picked up and carried high into the branchessince it could not climb trees. The fruit was ready and waiting to be eaten.

"Now" said the monkey. "It is proper to stand up straight while eating." The monkey stood up as it gripped the branch with its feet and its tail. The poor frog tried to stand up straightbut fell off the branch and down to the ground below. The frog limped home with an empty stomach and a headache.

No longer are frogs and black-handed monkeys friends.




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