The Dragonflies and the Monkeys

A Kodansu box at Chirk Castle with an image of dragonflies attacking monkeys

Once, on a very hot day a dragonfly was flying through a forest. She had been travelling for quite a long time and had become very tired. She decided to stop for a little while on a leaf on one of the trees. This tree was home to a family of monkeys.

As she fanned herself with her wings she heard a voice. One of the monkeys was calling out to her, “hey you, what are you doing?”

“I’m just resting for a while to cool down it’s very hot and I’m very tired,” said the dragonfly.

“Well you can’t rest here. We don’t allow weak creatures like yourself to sit on our tree,” said the monkey and he threw his stick at her.

The dragonfly was quite nimble and managed to avoid the stick, but she was shocked at the monkey’s behavior and went home to tell her father, who just happened to be the king of the dragon flies.

Summoning three of his finest soldier dragonflies to him the king flew over to the king of the monkeys. “Oh monkey king, one of your subjects tried to hit my daughter with a stick. He should apologize for his bad behavior.”

“Go away,” said the Monkey King. “We monkeys never apologise, certainly not to something as small and puny as you. Go away or else we will declare war on you. We are bigger and stronger than you, you will lose if we go to war.”

“We are not scared of you,” said the dragonfly king. “If you insist on war then we will fight you.”

The monkey king bellowed with rage at this affront from such a puny creature. He summoned all the monkeys together. “Grab the heaviest sticks that you can and go and attack the dragon flies,” ordered the king, “smash them to pieces!”

The dragonflies may have been small and weak, but they were smart and quick. The dragonfly king ordered his troops to land on the foreheads of the monkeys. The monkeys swung their clubs, but the dragonflies would fly off never being hit, and land on another monkey’s head.” In this way the monkeys managed to beat themselves up, and every monkey was heavily bruised or knocked out by the end of the fight.

The monkey king learned the errors of his ways. He decreed that in the future that monkeys were to share the trees with any creature that required to use them.