Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree

Discussing things as they’re said to be.

Said one to the others: “Now listen you two,

There’s a certain rumor that can’t be true.

That man descended from our noble race --

The very ideal -- it’s a dire disgrace.


“No monkey ever deserted his wife,

Starved her baby and ruined her life.

And you’ve never known a mother monk

To leave her baby with others to bunk,

Or pass them on from one to another

‘Til they hardly know who is their mother.


And another thing! You will never see

A monk built a fence ‘round a coconut tree

And let the coconuts go to waste,

Forbidding all other monks to taste.

Why if I put a fence around this tree

Starvation would force you to steal from me.


“Here’s another thing a monk won’t do,

Go out at night and get on a stew,

Or use a gun or club or knife

To take some other monkey’s life.

Yes! Man descended, the ornery cuss,

But brother he didn’t descend from us.”


From: W. L. Hiteman

Butler, Ky. 1980

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