The Monkey King.

Once a tribe of forest monkeys had a chief who was, not only splendid in appearance and wise as well, but he had the ability to know the future. When he noticed a grove of mango trees upstream of the local king's residence, he ordered his troop to remove all the fruit from the trees saying that if they did not do so, disaster would surely follow. The monkeys could not perceive what was in store, but they did as they were told. All the mangos, still unripe, were picked save one that was hidden by a bird's nest.
One day, when finally that mango ripened it fell into the river. It was transported downstream where the Human King was bathing, and he noticed it and asked his minister what it was. When told it was called mango and that it was the queen of fruit, the Human King ordered the mango cut into small pieces and distributed among the people there. Satisfied that the fruit was not poisonous, he also enjoyed some of it and naturally, he craved more.
The next day, the Human King and his men went upstream to search for the source of the mangos. Where there were lots of mango trees, there were also lots of monkeys. Not willing to share the fruit with the animals, he ordered that they be exterminated. When news of the massacre reached the Monkey King, he knew the time had come for him to do his duty. The thousands of monkeys were chased to the very edge of the forest where there was a deep gorge. The Monkey King saw that if his subjects could cross over to the bamboo grove on the far side, they would be safe from the hunters.
The Monkey King managed to extend his majestically large body over the gap to form a bridge, so that the troop could escape. Thousands of monkeys trampled over him to reach the safety of the bamboo forest, and he held on enduring all the pain. One monkey who harbored some ill feeling against the Monkey King took this opportunity to get even. As he clambered across, he stabbed the Monkey King's through the heart. The Monkey King screamed, but managed to endure until all his subjects were safely across. Only then could he collapse.
The Human King witnessed the selfless act, and was so touched that he ordered the life of the Monkey King be saved. When the Monkey King finally regained consciousness, the man asked him, "You are their king; why would you sacrifice your own life for them?". The Monkey King replied, "Precisely because I am their king". With those words, he died.
This lesson in duty and sacrifice was not lost on the Human King. He made the vow to do whatever he could to help his own people no matter the cost. The Human King also gave the order that the monkeys of the bamboo forest be protected forever after.


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Mylinh Nakry

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