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
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!