Japanese tales : The Crab and the Monkey
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The Crab and The Monkey

The Crab and the Monkey
Once upon a time there was a crab and a monkey. One day they were wandering together when the crab happened to find a riceball in the grass. The monkey was feeling envious of the crab and wanted to find something too. So he looked very carefully in the grass and found a persimmon seed. But he was not happy with that, because he wanted to eat the riceball the crab had found.
So he said, "Crab, why don't you have my seed instead of your riceball? A riceball is a good thing, but once you've eaten it up, it's over. However a persimmon seed is much better. You can sow it and later eat fine, juicy persimmons every year of your life."
The crab thought about it, and finally agreed, thinking that actually the seed was better than the riceball. The crab took the seed and the monkey took the riceball which he ate up at once. Then they both went back home.

¥Õ¥é¥ó¥¹¸ì,French,Francais ÆüËܸì, Japanese, Japonais

Once she got home, the crab sowed the persimmon seed in the garden. Every day she poured water on it and gave it some fertilizer saying,
"Hurry up, hurry up, persimmon seed;
if you don't grow some buds, I'll pinch you!"
So the seed hurried and started budding. Then the crab once more said,
"Hurry up, hurry up, persimmon seed;
if you don't grow into a beautiful tree, I'll pinch you!"
So the seed hurried and became a beautiful tree. Then the crab said,
"Hurry up, hurry up, persimmon tree;
if you don't give me some fruits, I'll pinch you!"
And the tree produced plenty of beautiful fruits.
The crab thought, "Great, I'm going to eat some fine, juicy persimmons!" She started climbing up the tree with all her pincers clinking, but she slipped on the trunk and fell. She tried again and again, but always fell back miserably.

The Crab and the Monkey

Then the monkey came by and when he saw the gorgeous fruit he wanted to eat some. So he said, "I found this seed, so I'm going to eat some persimmons." He climbed up the tree with agility and started stuffing himself with the reddest and best fruit.
The crab, unable to climb up was calling, "Do give some fruit, I want to have some too!"
So the monkey choose an unripe, hard fruit and threw it down violently at the crab. The fruit hit the shell of the poor crab, which broke in pieces. When the monkey found he had killed the crab, he ran away. Then from under the broken shell of their poor mother, little crabs came out crying.

¥Õ¥é¥ó¥¹¸ì,French,Francais ÆüËܸì, Japanese, Japonais

Le crabe et le singe

Hearing the little crabs crying, a bee came and asked them, "Little crabs, why are you crying?"
"Mother is dead, she's been killed by the monkey", answered the poor little crabs.
"What a wicked monkey", thought the bee.
Then a chestnut came and asked, "Little crabs, why are you crying?" When the chestnut heard from the little crabs that the monkey had killed their mother, she too thought that the monkey was really bad. The bee and the chestnut were thinking of what to do when a mortar came by. They told him how the mother crab died and the three of them agreed that the monkey had to be punished for that. At last, a cow dung joined the little group and they decided to get the mother crab's revenge. They left for the monkey's place.

The little crabs, the bee, the chestnut, the mortar, and the cow dung arrived at the monkey's place. As he was away for the moment, they hid themselves in the house : the chestnut went in the fire, the little crabs in a basin filled with water, and the bee waited on the top of the door. The mortar went on the roof and the cow dung spread itself at the doorstep. They were all hiding and waited silently until the monkey came back home.

Le crabe et le singe

Finally the monkey came back. "Oh, I'm freezing", said he and sat near the fire to warm himself. At this minute the red-hot chestnut jumped on his back and burned him. "Ouch, ouch!" cried the monkey and ran towards the basin to pour some water on his burns. When he put his hand in the water, the little crabs rushed out and started pinching the monkey's body. The monkey, screaming with pain, ran towards the door and then, the bee who was waiting for him stung him on the face. The monkey now wild with pain and fear tried to go out of the house. He slipped on the cow dung at the doorstep and fell flat. The mortar was waiting for this to happen and let himself fall from the roof with a very very big crash, flattening the monkey.
And that is how the little group got the mother crab's revenge.

Translated and adapted from Japanese by Myriam Dartois
Illustrated by Nobuteru Shiroshita


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