Skip to content

The Foolish Monkeys : Panchatantra Story

Panchatantra Story with a Moral

Listen to a tale from the Panchatantra Story collection on Baalgatha Podcast, where we bring to you folks tales with a moral. Todays story is titled The Foolish Monkeys. The story goes as follows:
A long time ago in ancient India, a King ruled the city of Varanasi. He was a patron of arts, and artists such as painters, dancers and singes flourished under his regime. Once, he decided to organize a grand music festival. It was to be a memorable occasion with singing and dancing shows, and with stalls offering and all kinds of food and entertainment.
The King also had a beautiful garden that surrounded his palace. He was particularly proud of the different varieties of flowers and trees that grew in this garden. Every morning, he would walk int he garden with his entourage, and then proceed towards the festival grounds. The King of Varanasi had issued strict instructions that the gardener should take good care of his beautiful garden. The gardener was a hard worker and a sincere person. But he was also fond of listening to good music. Every morning he would hear sounds of drums and pipes playing at a distance. And as the people would start to flock in the streets, he would desperately want to watch to the musicians perform.

Seeking Help from the Monkeys

It so happened that a tribe of monkeys lived in the garden. They would spend their time swinging from the trees, eating the fruits and making merry in that well protected space. The King had issued strict orders to his guards not to harm the monkeys. He was not only a lover of animals but also a very religious person. He considered these monkeys to be descendants of the very monkeys who had helped Lord Ram.
One day, the gardener began to wonder, `If only I can get the monkeys to water the plants for me. That way, I will be able to go to the festival grounds and enjoy myself too.’ With these thoughts, he presented himself respectfully to the king of the monkeys. He offering the King of the monkeys different varieties of fruit and young shoots to eat.
Then he asked, `Oh King, I have to leave for some urgent work. But my Lord and Master the King has issued strict orders asking me not to leave the garden. I therefore seek your help. Would you please do me a favour and water the plants in the garden while I’m away?’
`We would be delighted,’ said the monkey King. `I cannot thank you enough,’ said the gardener. The King ordered the monkeys to follow the gardener to the tool shed. The gardener gave the monkeys the water-skins and watering-pots needed to water the plants. Off he went to the festival ground, hoping to have a wonderful time listening to his favourite musicians perform.

Monkeys set to task

The monkeys quickly set to work. `We should be careful not to waste the water,’ commanded their king. `Therefore, I order you to do the following: Before you water, first pull up each plant and look at the size of its roots. Give plenty of water to the ones with deep roots and only a little to those with tiny roots.’
The monkeys obediently did what they were told. They were having a lovely time playing with the water. Pulling up the plants added to their fun. Soon, they had uprooted every plant and sapling that the gardener had planted with so much effort.
A wise man came by and saw what the monkeys were doing. He asked them why they pulled up plant after plant and watered them according to the size of the roots. `Because these are our king’s commands,’ answered the monkeys cheerily. The wise man pointed out to the monkeys, ‘By following your foolish King’s command, you have killed all the plants’. Saying so, he on his way. The monkeys were shocked. They decided to follow the wise man, leaving the monkey king alone in the ruined garden. The Monkey king felt very foolish indeed.

Indian Folk Tale With a Moral

So children, what lesson did you learn from this story? The lesson we learn is that one should not blindly follow the advise or orders of a foolish person. It will only lead to trouble.
This is a story from Panchatantra tales, revised and rewritten by Amar Vyas and narrated by Sheerali Biju for gaatha story. This podcast is produced by gaatha story and you can listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other fine sites and apps where you listen to your favourite shows.