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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Monkey Tails

        In the jungle there lived a monkey named Lurch. He was covered with chocolate-brown hair and had a tail that was ten feet long. He could swing from any tree to another by swinging back and forth with his tail. He could use it to knock bananas down from the tree and not even leave the ground. He’d just twirl it and send it flying up to the top of the tree where the bunch of bananas was and grab as many as he liked. His long tail came in very handy.

If he was in a playful mood, Lurch would find a tall tree with long branches on it and swing out over the river. Back and forth he’d go until he was over the deepest water in the middle of the river. He’d let go and fall in with a huge splash. He had to be very careful because there were a lot of hippos in the river and they didn’t like to be splashed on.

Early one morning Lurch went searching for a mango. Besides bananas, he loved to eat mangos, especially when they were ripe and juicy. He swung from tree to tree looking for the fruit. He saw some coconuts high up in a palm tree. He could reach one with his ten-foot tail, but he didn’t feel like eating coconuts. He wanted a mango.

He saw a tree filled with papaya, one with branches heavy with figs, and another with guava growing all over it, but he didn’t feel like eating any of those fruits. He craved a mango. So he kept swinging from tree to tree looking for one.

Lurch ended up down by the river. He swung onto a high branch. He looked down into the river. He could see fish swimming about, and a few snakes too. The water looked cool and refreshing. He was hungry, but he couldn’t resist a little swim. He wrapped his tail around the tree branch and started swinging back and forth. He got higher and higher and went faster and faster. When he was as high as he could go, he let go of the branch and flew through the air. He fell, giggling, “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” He landed with an enormous splash right in the middle of the river. Water went flying everywhere. Anything within twenty feet got splashed on.

Hugo, a very large hippo, happened to be sunbathing on the muddy banks of the river. When Lurch splashed, the water drenched Hugo. Drops of river water went flying up his nose; some got in his eyes and some went down into his ears. Hugo was mad! He stood up and looked into the river. He saw Lurch splashing, and laughing, and playing around in the deep water. Hugo slipped quietly into the river. He was about halfway between the riverbank and the monkey when Lurch turned and saw him. “Uh oh,” he said. “Ooops!” Lurch started swimming as fast as he could toward shore.

He was just about to the other side when Hugo grabbed his ten-foot tail. He started swinging Lurch around in circles, high in the air. Lurch was feeling dizzy. Hugo was spinning him very fast. Suddenly he let go of Lurch’s long tail. Lurch went soaring through the air and landed in a tree. “Stay out of the river!” Hugo yelled.

Lurch used his tail to catch himself. He swung back and forth, and then pulled himself up onto a branch. He sat still, feeling very scared. The tree had thick, wide leaves. Lurch began to smile. “A mango tree!” he giggled. He forgot all about Hugo and the river, and grabbed a handful of mangoes. He ate a dozen of them. “Delicious!” he said, wiping his mouth. He used his tail to pick all the mangoes from the hard to reach branches.

He decided that he’d better not go swimming for a while; not until Hugo stopped being mad, but he was happy that Hugo had tossed him into the mango tree. Yummy!

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