Monkey Tai the Great

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

In an ancient forest, there is a little monkey whose destiny changes after a devastating fire. Does he sink into despair or does he accomplish the impossible to fulfil his dream?



By Annie L.


Monkey Tai was living in a designated, small parcel of land of his own among his large clan. Every day his untrained singing voice echoed in the mountains. He sang the song his father taught him, swinging gaily and bouncing up and down, practising his dancing among the trees. Tirelessly, he practised every day on the small and on the large branches. On the high trees. On the low trees. He chanted the words of praise his father used to say, “You are great, Tai, remember that.” Monkey Tai recalled peeking out from a bush near a stage, once when he was little, and seeing a group of professional monkey dancers pirouetting across it. His eyes had widened in amazement and his heart had beat fast as his legs and arms involuntarily copied the movements of the elegant dancers. The melodic rhythm of the music, moving between a gentle sound and a dramatic one, had sent chills up his spine and moved him to the core. His passion for dancing and his desire to be trained professionally and have his own choreographed dance concert grew stronger every day as he practised on his own. 

But to his dismay, dance teachers were too expensive for him to hire. So Monkey Tai would spend his days picking fruit and nuts on his tiny land and trying to sell them to his fellow monkeys at the local market. Unfortunately, the others also picked their own fruits and nuts, on their own land, and so had little need for Monkey Tai’s supply. This meant that he found it extremely difficult to make any Monkey Money at all to save for his dance training. 

"There must be a way to earn more money," he exclaimed. 

Then on the day of the bushfire, most of the trees in the mountainous area where the clan lived were charred, and only a few nuts and berries were left dangling here and there. To make matters worse, some of the other monkeys snuck into Monkey Tai’s plot of land and stole all the remaining nuts and berries on his trees.

"What am I going to do?” he shrieked. “What am I going to eat now? How am I going to save money for my dance dream? What can I dooooooo?" His cries echoed throughout the mountains.

After a while, he stopped, climbed up a tree and perched on top of a branch. He was stunned by the magnificent sunset. He sensed the calmness and peace.

 “There must be a way.” he sang to himself. These were the lyrics his father taught him. Monkey Tai started his descent. Halfway down the canopy of the trees, he came across a patch of slippery bark, lost his grip and tumbled down the rest of the way, hitting the ground hard. 

"Ouch!" he screamed. He slowly sat up, stroking his aching bum. He raised his head and saw a pine cone hiding under a layer of thick leaves, with a quarter of it sticking out like an ostrich’s backside. He rushed over and picked it up. 

“Voila!” he exclaimed, "Pine nuts! Precious!" 

Most of the monkeys were in the habit of looking for food in the trees. But nuts could be found on the ground! And they too could be eaten! Monkey Tai darted from here to there, gathering more and more pine cones. 

"There is a way!" he yodelled. He explored the forest looking for a cave. To his delight, he found a small one. One by one he carried the cones, cautiously placing them in the small cave. He discreetly covered them under the big branches and leaves. The sun had sunk down on the horizon. He noticed his body was aching and heavy. He sleepily climbed up a tree and settled himself in a comfortable spot. 

"There is a way, and tomorrow will be better," he murmured. Then there was silence. He was woken by a laughing kookaburra. 

“A new day, a new way," he hummed with the kookaburra. Then he flung himself down the tree and made a detour to his cave. When he got there, he fished out two pine cones, picking out the nuts and putting one after the other into his mouth. With great satisfaction, he chewed with his eyes closed and enjoyed the taste of its nutty sweetness. His hands were still holding the pine cones after the nuts were all gone. 

“Yummmmmy…” he leaped and tossed the pine cones into the air.  With a thud, a pine cone landed on his head. 

“Oooouch,” he said while rubbing his head. Suddenly, an idea came to his mind. "Yes! Yes! I can create artwork out of these pine cones!” he exclaimed. “I can make Monkey Money! I will be able to afford a dance teacher! And hold a dance concert!" he chanted delightedly.

Ever since then he became very busy. He devoted himself to designing and making pine cone treasure boxes, pine cone swings and pine cone artwork. In the beginning, he would take his creations and sell them in the monkey market. As his artwork became famous, many monkeys flocked in to buy his art pieces. Gradually, a second secret cave became full with his Monkey Money. Then a third. Then a fourth. 

Finally, on the Monkey's New Year's Eve, a large band came and an enormous stage was set up. Monkey Tai performed his professional dance routine on the huge pine branch stage of the Mountain Monkey Theatre. His skilled ballet dance moves were so gracious that they captured the whole monkey audience. He started off slow, with a plié then surprised the audience with a jeté and finally ended his dance performance with a high prance and a fast pirouette. The monkey audience clapped for more, shouting, “Encore! Encore!” He was implored to dance to his heart’s content. After landing from the final pirouette, Monkey Tai felt a surge of inspiration. He lifted his head and sang his beloved song, “There must be a way, my father would say. There is a way, if you believe, your efforts will be paid.”




I would like to dedicate this little piece of work to my dear teachers, Veronica W. and Nadia H., who helped to make this possible. Many thanks to them.


Submitted: March 30, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Annie L. All rights reserved.

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N. Holiday

Monkey Tai the Great is a fun-filled story to remember! Full of aspirations and positivity. His enthusiasm is contagious. A highly recommended read.

Fri, April 2nd, 2021 6:42am

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