A ship was sailing from Egypt to Venice
and on board there was a big monkey. One
night, when the ship as passing the
Greek Islands, there was a terrible
The big monkey felt seasick and went on
deck for some air. An enormous wave
washed over the ship and dragged him
into the sea and that should have been
the end of the big monkey.
Now, sailors will tell you stories of
how dolphins sometimes save drowning men
and, as luck would have it, a little
dolphin noticed the big monkey drowning
in the sea, although the little dolphin
thought he was a man, not a monkey, what
with it being dark and there being a
storm and all. With his nose, the little
dolphin lifted the big monkey out of the
water and the big monkey hung on to his
fin, his big dorsal fin, that is.
The big monkey was too frightened and
too tired to talk and so the little
dolphin just swam away from the storm as
fast as he could.
After a long time, the dark clouds
departed and out came the stars and out
came the Moon. The stars shone bright, I
mean really bright and a shooting star
flew across the sky. They could see
lights from houses on the coast or the
islands of Greece, I’m not sure which.
Remember, the little dolphin still
thought the big monkey was a man and so
said to him, in his squeaky, clicky
voice, “Are you from Athens? I can take
you to Athens.”
The big monkey, who was a cheeky monkey
even when half-drowned, said that he was
indeed from Athens, from a very rich
family, hoping to fool the dolphin.
“They will give you a big reward for
taking me there.”
“Athens, it is then,” clicked the
little dolphin. And as they streamed
across the surface of the sea, the next
day began. The stars faded and the sky
changed colour to beautiful blues. The
smells of a new morning brought life
back to the half-drowned big monkey.
“Do you know Piraeus?” clicked the
little dolphin to the big monkey.
“Oh, of course I do,” replied the big
monkey, who was in fact a macaque.
“We’ve been friends for years.”
Piraeus is the port of Athens, not a
man at all and the little dolphin
realised the big monkey had been lying
to him all along and he was really
cheesed off about it. He tossed the
macaque off his back and into the sea
with a splash.
The macaque beat the water with his
very long arms trying to stay afloat.
“You’re an ape!” exclaimed the little
dolphin, even more cross now to see what
a fool the monkey had made of him.
“Please don’t let me drown,” begged the
big monkey. “I’m sorry I lied to you,”
he gasped, “but I was just too tired to
tell you the truth.”
The little dolphin was frowning when
the big monkey’s head went under the
water. He felt very insulted. The big
monkey managed just one more time to get
his head above water and gasped, “Save
me and I’ll tell you lots of stories.”
He was spluttering water as he spoke.
“I’ve sailed the seven seas. I’ve had
fantastic adventures and I know lots.”
As the little dolphin thought to
himself, “I enjoy a good tale,” the
monkey slipped under the waves for the
final time. “Gosh, where is he?” clicked
the little dolphin and slid under the
sea and raised the ape out of the water
on his back.
“Very well, you cheeky monkey, I accept
your offer. Sit sideways, you’ll be more
comfortable like that… and have a rest
before you tell me stories. You don’t
A warm Greek sun now shone strong and
put life back into our hairy friend.
After a rest of half an hour he could
speak again, said thank you to the
dolphin and began.
“A fisherman, who was used to catching
lots of fish, one day pulled in his nets
to find just one small fish.”
“Probably a sprat,” clicked the
“The small fish begged the fisherman to
throw him back in the water. – I’m worth
nothing to you now. Let me go and I’ll
grow into a big fish and then you can
sell me for lots of money.-
“”Only if I catch you again,”” replied
the fisherman and so he decided to keep
the small fish.”
“The fisherman told his fishermen
friends about his decision and they all
agreed he’d done the right thing. Of
course, within a few years all the fish
were gone. The fishermen had to leave
and go and work in the fields, which is
back-breaking work and not well-paid.
The fishermen were fools,” concluded the
“I was in Fiji once, in the Pacific,”
continued the macaque, “and there the
people have a never ending supply of big
fat delicious fish.”
“How?” clicked the little dolphin. It
was a subject close to his heart.
“Well,” began the big monkey, “ every
village has a part of the sea where no
one can fish, ever, and in that place
the fish grow fat and have so many
babies it’s amazing. And when these
babies grow up, they leave home and so
the surrounding sea is always full of
big fat fish.”
“Cool!” clicked the little dolphin.
“Now tell me another story.”
“This is called,” began the big monkey,
”man and mother nature.”
“Man declared that he was much cleverer
than all the other animals on the planet
because no other animal knew how to use
tools. And dolphins he said were no
cleverer than dogs.
-That’s a joke- laughed Mother Nature-
and she showed man insects, birds and
monkeys using tools. Then she showed him
the dolphins that live in Shark Bay in
Australia who use two tools: sponges to
clear away the sand to find hiding fish
and big shells as traps to catch them.
Then man said he was the only one who
recognised himself in mirrors. Mother
Nature showed him that monkeys and of
course dolphins also recognised
themselves in mirrors while a lot of
other animals get scared and attack
their own reflections.
Then Mother Nature showed man that
dolphins have their own language and
have their own names and they remember
the names of their friends years and
years after having seen them for the
Then Mother Nature pointed out that
dolphins don’t kill other dolphins and
that they didn’t pollute and poison the
places where they lived. Who then is
more clever, dolphins or people?
Man was a bad loser and he turned his
back on Mother Nature and they stopped
being friends. Man continued doing and
thinking silly things, like looking for
petrol in the beautiful jungles of
Ecuador, in South America and also in
the gorillas’ home in the Congo in
Africa. He was even poisoning all the
water in England, looking for gas.”
The little dolphin suddenly had a great
idea and suggested to the macaque that
they go and live in Fiji, in the
Pacific, where there are lots of fish
and the people aren’t silly.
“Splendid,” said the big monkey. “It’s
a very long way so I’ll need something
So they called in to the Port of Piraeus
where the monkey bought some grapes. The
little green grapes of Greece are the
most delicious grapes in the whole wide
world, so the monkey was well pleased to
On their long journey to Fiji they
stopped off at many places and our hairy
friend tried fabulous fruits from all
over the planet. Pawpaws, baby bananas
and mangosteens to name but three. They
also had many fabulous adventures.
One fine afternoon the little dolphin
and the macaque finally arrived in Fiji
in the Pacific. Soon they made friends
with the people. Indeed, some of them
remembered the big monkey from his
previous trip. The big monkey helped
them get coconuts down from the palm
trees and the little dolphin helped
them find fish and scared off the
One fine day the little dolphin, who was
no longer so little, met a beautiful
lady dolphin. They were married and had
lovely children and the big monkey was
their favourite uncle, maybe because he
was a cheeky monkey.
Night came and a gentle breeze blew
through the palm trees who bowed and
swayed and whispered long whispers to
each other. The waves lapped softly
against the sandy shore and little crabs
ran between the pieces of dark brown
wood washed up by the ocean. The little
dolphin was there chatting to his old
friend the big monkey. They laughed at
all the adventures they’d had. They were
very happy and very sleepy. The stars
shone bright, I mean really bright and a
shooting star flew across the sky. They
could see the light from a bonfire in
the village and hear the people singing
songs, as usual.
“Tomorrow will be another lovely day,”
said the macaque to his friend, “You
know, I’m so glad we came here.”
“Me too, monkey. I really am.”
The macaque shimmied up a palm tree and
made a cozy nest out of the branches and
leaves. He lay back, hands behind his
head gazing up at the stars. He heard a
big splash and then, “Goodnight, Cheeky
Monkey,” even though he wasn’t as cheeky
as he used to be. The monkey was
“Goodnight, Little Dolphin,” he
answered, even though the little dolphin
was now a big daddy dolphin.
“I’ll come by bright and early,” said
the little dolphin and he slipped under
the smooth dark sea.
The big monkey was still smiling as his
eyes grew heavy and closed. It really
was a good night.