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Fables from Afar by  Catherine T. Bryce
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THE MONKEYS AND THE MOON

ONE night a little monkey went to a well to get a drink. As he bent [47] over, he saw the moon shining on the water. In great fear he ran to the other monkeys.

"My friends," he cried, "the moon has fallen into the water!"

[48] "Where? where?" asked the others.

"Come with me and I will show you," said the little monkey.

He led them to the well, and they crowded around and looked down.


[Illustration]

"Yes, there she is!" they cried. "We have lost our beautiful moon! How dark and dreary night will be without her! What shall we do? What shall we do?"

"Listen to me," said an old monkey. "There is only one thing to do. We must draw the moon out of the well."

"Yes! yes! yes!" shouted the others. "We will. Only tell us how."

"See that branch growing over the [49] well? We will make a chain from it and draw the moon out in a minute."

"Good! good!" cried all the others. "Let us do it at once."

Soon a chain of monkeys was swinging from the branch, down over the well. But, alas! Just as the little monkey at the end of the chain nearest the water was about to reach out and grasp the moon, a dreadful thing happened. The branch broke, and all the foolish monkeys fell into the well and were drowned. But the moon went on sailing through the sky.


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