Jataka tale: The stupid crocodile

Another Jataka tale, as interpreted by Possum and friends:

Click on the image above to view the video on Vimeo.

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.

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