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The Frog and the Black-Handed Monkey

Long ago, frogs and black-handed monkeys were friends. The monkeys would take the frogs high into the trees to show them the world from above, and the frogs would help the monkeys get fruit that had dropped into the water. One day a frog decided to play a trick on one of the black-handed monkeys. He gathered much food and invited the monkey to a feast. His monkey friend was glad to eat with his friend. "First," said the frog, "let us wash our hands till they are clean." The frog showed the monkey how to wash in the stream. "Your hands are black because they are dirty," said the frog. The monkey washed and washed, but its hands stayed black. The frog told the monkey to scrape the dirt off with sand. The monkey did not know better, and scraped its hands with sand till they bled. Still the hands were black. The frog could hardly keep from laughing at his cruel trick. "You hands are so black! They must be filthy with dirt. Rub them on these sharp rocks. Then they will be clean and white enough for our feast," advised the frog. The poor monkey tore its skin on the rocks till the pain was too great. The frog told the monkey to go away, since its hands could not be cleaned enough to eat with the frog. Sadly, the monkey left with only its bloody hands and its hunger to show for the day. When the monkey told the other monkeys what had happened, a wise older monkey explained that all their hands were black because they were supposed to be, and not because of dirt. The monkey was angry at the cruel trick of the frog. ...
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