Bridge of Monkeys
Once there was a Monkey King who lived on a mountain with his group of 500 monkeys. Once year, due to bad weather, there was nothing to eat. The trees were barren. The Monkey King thought to himself, in this situation, we will all starve to death. However, at the foot of the mountain from where the monkeys lived there was a castle and in the castle garden, the trees were full of fruit.
The Monkey King, although realizing that it was not the right thing to do, sneak? into the garden with his entire group. "Our Beloved King, I've never eaten such delicious fruits. I am so ? said one of the monkeys.
"How wonderful". replied the Monkey King. He was glad to see? friends so happy.
And he led them to the garden day after day. On the morning of the 5th day, as usual, the Monkey King led his 500 monkeys. ? the garden. But today, the guards of the castle were waiting to catch the monkeys.? The Monkey King was the first to notice the trap. He yelled out "Don't go in garden! Run away!" Having said so he dashed to the front of the group at ? them back via different route from the one they had come thinking they might ambushed if they returned the same way. The 500 monkeys followed their king ? closely. The Monkey King thought, "If we can only cross the valley and make it back mountain we will be safe. If we can only cross the valley". The monkeys went? ting close to the valley. However, when they got there they found that there was no? bridge./ Previously a fallen tree had served as a bridge, but it had probably ? away/ The Monkey King told the 500 monkeys "Let's collect some vines an them together." The monkey scrambled in search of vines They soon returned ? Tried them into a long rope. "There's not time to lose!"
Trying one end of the rope vine to a tree and the other end to himself he said friends "As soon as I jump across the other side of the valley and tie this end? the rope vine to a tree, all of you use it to cross over to your safety." After? this, the Monkey King, almost like a bird, flew to other side of valley and g? on to a tree branch. But, suspended in mid-air, he couldn't move at all. The ? of vine was too short. Looking back, he yelled "Hurry, cross over now". A? the 500 monkeys starting with the young followed by mother monkeys with the ? bies began crossing over this bridge. The Monkey King again said "Hurry! Now ? Chance". As they did, the king felt his arms becoming numb. His fingers that ? folding on to the branch were slipping. But the king resolved that no matter happened he had to hold on.
"Hurry, Hurry!", he whispered to himself with his eyes closed. The King of the ? The and his guards who were chasing the monkeys stopped in their tracks and ? staring at the spectacle before them in amazement. As they did, all 500 of the monkeys completed crossing the valley and the King Monkeys released the branch he was holding on to all this time.
"Quickly go the valley floor and save the Monkey Kin" ordered the King ? guards. And furthermore, from tomorrow, everyday, pick fruit from the castle? den and take it to the monkeys "We shall share our fruits with them". said the with tears glistening in his eyes.
(From the "Rokudo Jyuukyou"). The Heart of Sakyamuni, The White Elephant that disappeared in the Sky, by the Hongwanji Publishing Department.)