Another Jataka tale, as interpreted by Possum and friends:
As usual, the full script is below.
Possum: It’s time for another Jataka tale.
Sharpie: You mean these old stories from old India, about one of Buddha’s previous lives?
Possum: Yeah, choose us a story to act out!
Possum: Once upon a time, a Monkey lived on the banks of a river. And in the river lived a hungry Crocodile.
Monkey: Look at the ripe fruit trees on that island over there! If I jump to this rock first, then I can jump over to the island and get the ripe fruit.
Crocodile: When the Monkey returns, she’ll have to jump on this rock. I’ll climb up and pretend to be the rock. Heh heh heh.
Possum: That night, when it was growing dark, the Monkey started for home.
Monkey: That rock looks bigger than usual. What’s the matter with it? Ah ha! Crocodile is lying on top of it.
Monkey: Hi, Rock!
[Crocodile remains silent]
Monkey: Hi Rock, my old friend!
Crocodile [to himself]: Hmm. The Monkey is friends with the rock. Maybe I’d better answer.
Monkey: Hi, Rock!
Crocodile: Hello, Monkey! Did you eat lots of fruit?
Monkey: I know that voice. That must be you, Crocodile.
Crocodile: Heh heh. Yes, it’s me.
Monkey: Oh dear. It looks like you caught me. Well, open up your mouth so I can jump right in.
Crocodile: OK. [opens mouth] Ahhh!
Possum: But instead of jumping into the crocodile’s mouth, the monkey jumped on top of his head and then jumped to the river bank and safety.
Crocodile: Monkey, that was very smart.
Monkey: The person who possesses the four virtues — truth, foresight, fixed resolve, and fearlessness — will overcome all foes. Even you, Crocodile.
Possum: When Buddha told this story, he said that he was the Monkey in one of his previous lives.
Monkey: The monkey in this story is strong!
Crocodile: I don’t think this story is very fair to crocodiles.
Sharpie: Most important, though, in this story are the four virtues that the monkey had — she spoke the truth, she was able to look ahead and plan, she had determination, and she was fearless.