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Main > Brazilian folktales > Fairy tale "How the Monkey Got a Drink When He Was Thirsty"

How the Monkey Got a Drink When He Was Thirsty

Once upon a time the monkey made the tiger very angry. This is how it happened. The monkey was seated high up among the leafy branches of a mango tree playing upon his guitar. The tiger passed that way and lay down under the tree to rest. Just to tease him the monkey played and sang this little song:

"Tango ti tar, tango ti tar,

The tiger's bones are in my guitar.

Tee hee, Tee hee."

The tiger was very angry. "Just wait until I catch you, Mr. Monkey," he said. "Then I'll show you a trick or two with bones."

The monkey leaped from one tree to another keeping himself so well hid by the foliage that the tiger could not see him. Then he came down out of the trees and hid himself in a hole in the ground. When the tiger came near he again played and sang his little song:

"Tango ti tar, tango ti tar,

The tiger's bones are in my guitar.

Tee hee, Tee hee."

The tiger put his paw into the hole and caught the monkey's leg. "Oh, ho, Mr. Tiger!" said the monkey. "You think that you have caught my leg but what you really have is just a little stick. Oh, ho! Oh, ho!" Then the tiger let go of the monkey's leg.

The monkey crawled farther back into the hole in the ground where the tiger's paw could not reach him. Then he said: "Thank you so much, Mr. Tiger, for letting go of my leg. It really was my leg, you know." Again he played and sang his little song:

"Tango ti tar, tango ti tar,

The tiger's bones are in my guitar.

Tee hee, Tee hee."

The tiger was angrier than ever. He waited and waited for the monkey to come out of the hole in the ground but the monkey did not come. He had discovered another way out and once more from the high tree tops he sang down to the waiting tiger:

"Tango ti tar, tango ti tar,

The tiger's bones are in my guitar.

Tee hee, Tee hee."

There had been a great drought in the land and there was only one watering place where the beasts could drink. The tiger knew that the monkey would have to go there when he was thirsty so he decided to wait for him and catch him when he came to drink.

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