The Monkey Code
A story about kindness and consideration towards newcomers.
for children of 6 to 8 years old. Story Number 1 of 2 stories
This story is ideal for children to turn into a play with some guidance from teachers or parents. Read the story to the children first and ask the questions posed at the end. Discuss with the children how they would like to act out the story and go ahead.
The monkeys were having a meeting, they were making a lot of noise and jumping up and down. There were monkey mothers and monkey children and some old grey monkeys too. Nobody could hear what anybody was saying.
An old grey backed monkey stood and reached his big hand up to a tree branch. He shook it hard. All the leaves rattled and made a swishing noise. The baby monkeys ran to their mothers and hid. The boy and girl monkeys stopped jumping about and looked at the old grey monkey. They knew he was the leader of the tribe and that what he had to say was important. Monkeys who had been swinging about the branches clambered down to the ground to listen. Monkeys who were grooming each other stopped looking for bits and pieces to pick off their friends’ coats. All eyes were turned to Grey Back.
‘We are all here today because there is some news. Now listen carefully. We’re going to have some new monkeys in our tribe. There are two young monkeys coming to join us. They have lost their families. There was a fire in their part of the forest and they lost their homes. I want to know how you will take care of them when they come. The monkeys looked round at each other. They were very quiet. They knew that this was important and they were thinking hard. They were just imagining how frightened and lonely their new visitors might be. Some of the monkey children replied:
‘I can be a good friend,’ said one.
‘I can show them our food trees,’ said another.
‘I can help them to build a nest to sleep on at night,’ said a third.
The monkey mothers nodded their heads in agreement. It seemed like the young monkeys had learned their lessons well. They had been taught to look after each other and to be helpful and kind.
‘Well done ,’ said Grey Back, ‘if you look after others then they will look after you, but if you are unkind, others will turn away from you, and your unkindness will turn to unhappiness. And that is against the Monkey Code. What do we want? Happy monkeys, helpful monkeys, that’s our code!’
Grey Back gave the branch one last shake then lumbered off into the trees.
‘Happy monkeys, helpful monkeys!’ chattered the youngsters as they went back to their clambering about.’
‘I’m off to find some fruit’ said a teenage monkey.
‘Fruit, fruit!’ whooped the youngsters as they all disappeared into the trees.
What name would you give to this story – what do you think it is about?
Why did the monkeys have a meeting?
Why were two young monkeys coming to join the tribe?
How did the monkeys say they would take care of the visitors?
How would you look after new people in school?
Does the story remind you of anything in your life?