A gang of monkeys lived in the large grove just outside the city. The grove was full of fruit trees. Bunches of bananas hung all year round. Other trees sprouted juicy oranges, sweet chikoos and tangy pomegranates.
Among the gang was a young monkey called Makranda. He was the most energetic of the lot. He would jump from tree to tree all day long. He would climb the highest of branches, ignoring the senior monkeys, who advised against such risky play.
One day, a group of humans from the city arrived at the grove carrying axes in their hands. They began cutting down trees in one part of the grove. Initially, the monkeys were very scared. They feared the humans would cut down their entire grove.
Soon, however, it became clear they were only clearing a small part to build a temple. The monkeys watched in fascination as the humans piled the logs of woods and began constructing the temple.
Every afternoon, at one o’clock, the workers would go away for lunch. They would rest for an hour and then resume their work. The monkeys would enter the area as soon they left. Jumping among the piles of wood and picking up construction tools, was a nice break from swinging on trees.
One day, Makranda noticed a large trunk of a tree which had been cut down. The workers were trying to split it in half, and the work was not finished yet. A large wedge was placed where a cut had been made to ensure the trunk wouldn’t snap back together.
Makranda jumped on the log of wood and sat on it, with his leg dangling down in the gap in the wood. He became curious about the piece of wood used as the wedge. He tried to shake it. The wedge did not move.
“Hey, Makranda,” the senior monkeys yelled at him, “Don’t mess with their work.”
“Ha!” thought Makranda, “Spoilsports.”
He pulled hard at the wedge, which stuck quite tightly. Makranda’s face went red. And then suddenly the wedge came flying out of the trunk. The monkeys watched as the wedge slipped out of Makranda’s hand and went across the clearing. And then they heard a loud cry!
“Owwwwww! Oww! Oww! Oww!”
Makranda’s leg was stuck in the wood. All the monkeys felt very sorry for him. But there was nothing they could do. It was impossible to pull Makranda out.
Soon, the workers returned. All the other monkeys scurried away. They climbed on trees to see what would happen.
The workers were shocked to see a monkey stuck where they had left a wedge. They understood what had happened. The carpenters pulled at the trunk and Makranda’s leg came free. But he couldn’t run with his hurt leg.
The workers wanted to laugh at the monkey’s stupidity. But seeing his pain, they applied some balm to his leg and tied a bandage.
Makranda hobbled away towards the gang. He promised the senior monkeys he would never do anything so stupid again.