* Watch out for the Angry Monkey

monkey in the rain

This is a tale from the PanchaTantra, a collection of children stories from India. Take a moment to read this story and notice what comes up for you. My own reaction has changed over time.

“Somewhere in the jungle, there grew a huge tree. On its long branches, a pair of sparrows had made their home. One day, in winter, whilst the pair was sitting happily together, a light rain began to fall.

After some time, a monkey, battered by the strong winds, came and stood under the tree, his teeth chattering with cold.

When the female sparrow saw him in this state, she said to the monkey,’With your hands and feet, you look like a human being.
So why don’t you make a home yourself?’

The monkey got angry and shouted, “Why don’t you shut your mouth, you stupid woman ?”
But the female sparrow kept on advising the monkey.

Then the monkey said to himself, ” What a cheek this female bird has, giving me advice! This insolent woman thinks, she is an educated woman and won’t stop yapping. She makes me want to kill her!”

Then the monkey said ,”Why should you worry about my situation?”
But the female sparrow kept chattering ceaselessly.

Without much ado, the monkey climbed up the tree and tore up the nest in thousand pieces.

The wise indeed say : Give your advice only to those who deserve it else you will come to grief.”

When I read this story a few years ago, I could really relate to the sparrow. I would come across people who were unhappy and not open to accepting help or advice. When I read the story back then, I wondered how the sparrow could change her approach so that the monkey would listen to her and learn from her, instead of resenting her and getting angry.

Now I know to let angry monkeys be.




47 thoughts on “* Watch out for the Angry Monkey

  1. This is so true, and a good story to learn from.
    I learned a long time ago that you just cannot help some people so if I start to give advice and see the angry monkey, I back off. Let it go.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Val, interesting story, many interpretations for it. I don’t give advices if not asked for, except to my kids and hubby, but I say it only one time, if they listen is ok, if not i don’t care, I have my own troubles to take care for.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Really enjoyed this post, Val. I know from my experience both past and current, you really can’t communicate with anyone who is in an angry state. I have a family member who has been in this state for coming up on two years. Sometimes anger takes a very long time to disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am gradually learning this too, but at Christmas a family member turned into an angry monkey with totally irrational thinking and loud anger. Stupid me rose to the bait and tried to quell the storm with rational words and a raised voice. I should have just walked outside until that monkey mind calmed down.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very timely post, Val. A possible heating crisis this morning as winter settles in could mean a very expensive repair or even more expensive replacement. The angry monkey was in full swing. Scared monkeys often erupt in anger. As I walked away after offering help, I began reciting the Metta Sutta: “This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness and who knows the path of peace. Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech…” It stopped me from grabbing a branch and swinging wildly myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The story shows both monkey and sparrow on the tree, but the sparrow has its little nest to keep it dry….
      The childhood lesson is for us to keep our peace of mind in the face of anger by keeping our distance.
      Another more spiritual lesson can also be for the sparrow. To keep to its own business, don’t point out others suffering to them or to come from a place of compassion and offer a banana, as smilecalm says.


  6. The concept of giving advice only to those who “deserve” it doesn’t seem right at first . . . but it’s so true that trying to help an angry person is futile.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: * Mantra for Healing | Find Your Middle Ground

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