Monkey sitting on bench and eating. Photo: Ugur Peker/Unsplash.

CHL Tales: The Monkey and the Crocodile

6th August 2020

McComas Taylor reads The Monkey and the Crocodile, a story from the Panchatantra, in Sanskrit.

The Monkey and the Crocodile


अस्ति गङ्गायां कुम्भीरः ।
वानरः तस्य मित्रं गङ्गायाः तटे वसति ।
प्रतिदिनं वानरः पक्वानि फलानि निक्षिपति ।
कुम्भीरः फलानि खादति ।
वानरस्य हृदयं मिष्टम् अस्ति इति कुम्भीरस्य भार्या वदति ।
भार्या हृदयं खादितुम् इच्छति ।
अहो वानर मम गृहम् आगच्छ इति कुम्भीरः वानरं वदति ।
एवम् अस्तु इति वानरः वदति ।
तस्य पृष्ठे कुम्भीरः वानरं वहति ।
गङ्गायाः मध्ये कुम्भीरः सत्यम् वदति ।
मम हृदयं वृक्षे भवति इति वानरः भाषते ।
पुनर् माम् तत्र नय इति वानरः भाषते ।
कुम्भीरः वानरं गङ्गायाः तटे नयति ।
वानरः वृक्षम् उच्छलति ।
वानरो वृक्षस्य बिले पश्यति ।
कश्चित् मम हृदयं चोरयति स्म इति वानरः वदति ।
एवं कुम्भीरः वानरः च मित्रे तिष्ठतः


The Monkey and the Crocodile


There was once a crocodile in the Ganges River.
His friend, a monkey, resided on the banks of the river.
Every day the monkey threw down ripe fruit for the crocodile to eat.
And the crocodile did indeed eat that fruit.
‘That monkey’s heart must be very sweet!’ Thus said the crocodile’s wife.
And she desired to eat that [monkey’s] heart.
‘Monkey, my friend, you must come to my house!’ said the crocodile to the monkey.
‘Let it be thus!’ the monkey said.
And the crocodile bore the monkey on his back.
But in the middle of the river, the crocodile told him the truth.
But the monkey said, ‘Oh! My heart — I left it in the tree over there on the bank.
‘You better take me back so I’ll be able to get it for you.’
So the crocodile took the monkey back to the shore.
The monkey climbed up a tree.
The monkey looked into a hole in the tree.
‘Oh no! Someone has stolen my heart out of the hole in the tree!’ said the monkey.
And thus the monkey and the crocodile were able to remain friends.


Storytelling is just one way by which we at CHL connect with the cultures, histories and languages in the world around us. If you wish to support this research, you can now donate to the School of Culture, History & Language fund.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster