The Grateful Monkey King


Once upon a time, there was a poor but kindhearted grandpa who belonged to the Amis tribe. One day, he climbed the mountain to clear the weeds from his paddy field. After grandpa finished weeding the field, he started to make his way home. Suddenly, it started to rain heavily and grandpa quickly took shelter under a large tree. The rain continued to pour, and grandpa got worried. He said, “Oh dear! It is getting dark, but it is still raining heavily. What should I do?” Suddenly, a group of monkeys ran out from the bushes. One of them handed a leather jacket to grandpa and said, “Grandpa, Wear my leather jacket to keep yourself warm. We have prepared a sumptuous dinner for tonight, and would like to invite you to join us.”

And so, Grandpa followed the monkeys to their home deep in the mountains. By the time they arrived at the monkeys' home, the sky was already dark. All the monkeys ran out to welcome grandpa to their home. They also invited grandpa to try many delicious dishes from the mountain. During dinner, grandpa noticed an old female monkey lying on a bed inside a room. He turned and asked the Monkey King, “What happened to her?” The Monkey King replied, “She has been ill for a very long time.
We tried to cure her, but none of the herbs that we tried worked.” Grandpa took some herbs out of his bag, and mixed it with some ash from the stove. Then, he gave it to the Monkey King and said, “Give this medicine to her.” After taking the medicine, the old monkey was miraculously healed the next day. The Monkey King was very grateful and said, “Thank you for curing my granny! Please accept this gift as a token of my gratitude.” The Monkey King gave grandpa a rice winnowing basket made of bamboo, and taught him how to use it.

When grandpa returned home with the basket, his family looked very surprised. Suddenly, grandpa noticed that his little grandson had learned how to walk. He quickly asked, “Wasn't I away for only three days?” His son replied, “No, father, you have been away for three years.” Grandpa was shocked to hear that and took out the bamboo basket. He put a few grains of rice into the basket and started to winnow the rice. As if by magic, more and more rice appeared in the basket. Grandpa said happily, “This basket is amazing!” Soon, the entire room was full of rice. From then on, grandpa didn't need to climb the mountain to weed his paddy field. For the magical basket kept making rice, and kept his whole family from starving.