Sometimes a lesson is learnt the hard way!
That is what Nawti, the little spider monkey
discovers! Read the story to know more!
Little Nawti the spider monkey lived in the rainforests of South America. Of all the spider
monkeys in the group, Nawti was the most nimble and the most naughtiest!
Spider monkeys have small bodies and long limbs! They have a very long tail that becomes limb no.5! With hands that are so good for holding and grasping, spider monkeys spend their time in the treetops swinging from branch to branch or hanging down by their tails!
Nawti loved swinging from tree to tree! It was fun being with the group!
All day long Nawti and the other spider monkeys looked for food! Nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, spiders...even the bark of trees! Of all the fruits Nawti loved bananas! A lot!
A few paths ran through the forest. These paths connected a few villages that were around the rainforest. Usually Nawti avoided these paths.
Strange animals-with-no-tails used the paths and he found them very silly.
‘How can they swing from branches with no tails?’ he wondered.
You have guessed who these strange-animals-with-no-tails are, yes? That’s right! Humans! Village-folk! They used the paths regularly to visit one another.
One afternoon, Nawti heard a sound strange and sweet! It made him curious! Peering through
the leaves, Nawti saw something very exciting!
The sound was coming from that strange-animal-with-no-tail! It was a lady carrying a basket of fruits on her head!
Bananas! Yummy bananas! Ooh! They looked delicious...and Nawti wanted them....very much!
Quietly Nawti moved along with the lady as she walked. Up ahead he saw the branch of a tree hang over the path! By the time the lady walked under that branch, Nawti was ready and waiting!
DOWN HE SWUNG....AND UP AGAIN...with a big bunch of bananas!
Oh! Yum – Yum – Yum!! Bananas in my tum! Nawti was thrilled! The bananas were very tasty!
You know what happened from that day on, right?
From then on, Nawti became...naughty! It was so easy to get bananas to eat!
The other spider monkeys warned Nawti to stop.
‘Come with us to look for fruit Nawti!’
‘Those animals-with-no-tails won’t like you taking their fruit Nawti!’
‘Don’t be foolish Nawtil! It’s not safe for you!
Nawti just would not listen to any of them! Sometimes he had to wait and wait...sometimes he had to search the many paths....but he always got some bananas to eat every day!
The villagers WERE VERY ANGRY! They wanted to stop the pesky monkey from stealing their fruit!
So...they thought of a plan...a clever plan!
Do you know what they did?
They cut some thin, thin slivers of wood and painted them bright yellow. The slivers had very sharp tips!
They poked the bananas with the slivers making sure the tips stuck out!
Oh! The bananas looked so pretty! Sharp, but pretty!
You know what happened next, right?
A few villagers carried the bananas on their heads as usual! Nawti was up on the tree as usual!
The bright yellow bananas caught his eye! A new kind he thought! So pretty! Must be tasty too!
‘I must have it’ he thought! Down he swung and grabbed the fruit......‘Ouch! Ooweee! Ooh! Ooh!’ he screamed.
Nawti dropped the bananas right away...but a few slivers were now stuck to his hands....AND THEY HURT!
SO MUCH! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
The villagers were very angry !! They picked stones from the path and threw it at him!
Nawti now was very scared! The slivers were poking him like thorns! His hands hurt!
He could barely hold the branches as he climbed higher to a safe spot!
He HAD to escape from the animals-with-no-tails!
By the time Nawti reached a safe spot on the treetop he was whimpering with pain.
‘I should have listened to all of you’, he cried. ‘I was so silly!’ One of Nawti’s friends pulled out the slivers one by one gently.
Nawti’s hands took time to heal. His friends brought him yummy fruit every day.
He could not swing from branch to branch and he missed that! He missed being with his friends.
‘I am a monkey! A spider monkey!’ he thought.
‘This is what I should do! Swing with my friends and find food to eat! I forgot this!
Silly me! I can’t wait for the day when I can swing away all day with the others!’
When that day came, the happiest of all the spider monkeys was...Nawti!
© Sujatha Jaishankar/2021
First featured in –
The Young Chronicle / April’21