The Wedge-Pulling Monkey

In a place far away, there was a busy city. Next to the city, some people were building a temple. Every day, when it was lunchtime, the workers and the boss went to eat.

One day, a group of playful monkeys found the temple that was only half done. They saw a big log that a worker had started to split open with a wedge made of acacia wood stuck in the top.

The monkeys started jumping around and having fun on the rooftops and in the trees. But then, one curious monkey saw the wedge and wondered, “Why is this stick stuck in the log?” He grabbed it with his hands and tried to pull it out. What happened next was very silly and a bit embarrassing for the monkey, but I’ll let you guess that part.

This story shows why it’s smart not to meddle in things that don’t concern us. And just like that, two clever animals in the story lived happily by being smart and not meddling.

Victor, one of the animals, wondered why they should work just for food and not try to do really well at something. He thought about sayings that tell us it’s important to help our friends and to be kind to others.

Victor also mentioned how every creature, even a little mouse or a crow, can be happy with simple things. But everyone, no matter how small, likes to be treated fairly and with respect.

Cheek, Victor’s friend, said they didn’t have a job right now, so why bother with all this thinking? Victor answered that even without a job, a smart person can find work and that it’s important to do what’s right, not just what’s easy.

Victor then explained that you can learn a lot about someone by watching their face and body language, not just by what they say. He wanted to use his smarts to help their leader, Rusty the lion, who seemed a bit scared and confused.

Cheek didn’t think Victor knew how to be helpful, but Victor said he learned from stories and proverbs how to be a good helper. He knew that being close to a leader and doing the right things could make you liked and trusted.

Victor then shared lots of advice about how to be a good servant and friend to a king. He said being brave, smart, and reliable are the best ways to be successful and happy.

After all this talking, Victor decided to go see Rusty the lion and see if he could help him with his problem. When Victor got there, Rusty was happy to see him and asked why he hadn’t visited in a while.

Victor explained that it’s always good to check in with your leader, because you never know when you might be able to help. He reminded Rusty that everyone has something to offer, just like a straw can be used to clean your teeth or scratch your ear.

Victor also told Rusty not to worry about being scared by a big noise they heard. He said brave people and animals don’t get scared of just a sound. He encouraged Rusty to be strong and not to leave their home just because of a scary noise.

In the end, Victor told a story to Rusty, but that’s a tale for another time.

The moral of "The Wedge-Pulling Monkey" story from the Panchatantra is about the dangers of meddling in matters that one does not understand or that are none of one's business. In the story, a monkey, driven by curiosity and ignorance, tries to pull a wedge out from a log that is being split. This action leads to tragic consequences for the monkey.

The story serves as a cautionary tale, teaching that interfering in situations without understanding the context or consequences can lead to harm. It emphasizes the importance of minding one's own business and the potential dangers of unnecessary interference or curiosity without wisdom. This tale is often used to teach children and even adults the value of prudence and the risks of involving oneself in situations without adequate knowledge or understanding.