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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The jelly fish and the monkey"

The jelly fish and the monkey

" asked the monkey in astonishment.

Then the jelly fish saw his chance, and went on describing to the best of his ability the beauty and grandeur of the Sea King's Palace, and the wonders of the garden with its curious trees of white, pink and red coral, and the still more curious fruits like great jewels hanging on the branches. The monkey grew more and more interested, and as he listened he came down the tree step by step so as not to lose a word of the wonderful story.

"I have got him at last!" thought the jelly fish, but aloud he said:

"Mr. Monkey. I must now go back. As you have never seen the Palace of the Dragon King, won't you avail yourself of this splendid opportunity by coming with me? I shall then be able to act as guide and show you all the sights of the sea, which will be even more wonderful to you—a land-lubber."

"I should love to go," said the monkey, "but how am I to cross the water! I can't swim, as you surely know!"

"There is no difficulty about that. I can carry you on my back."

"That will be troubling you too much," said the monkey.

"I can do it quite easily. I am stronger than I look, so you needn't hesitate," said the jelly fish, and taking the monkey on his back he stepped into the sea.

"Keep very still, Mr. monkey," said the jelly fish. "You mustn't fall into the sea; I am responsible for your safe arrival at the King's Palace."

"Please don't go so fast, or I am sure I shall fall off," said the monkey.

Thus they went along, the jelly fish skimming through the waves with the monkey sitting on his back. When they were about half-way, the jelly fish, who knew very little of anatomy, began to wonder if the monkey had his liver with him or not!

"Mr. Monkey, tell me, have you such a thing as a liver with you?"

The monkey was very much surprised at this queer question, and asked what the jelly fish wanted with a liver.

"That is the most important thing of all," said the stupid jelly fish, "so as soon as I recollected it, I asked you if you had yours with you?

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