Once upon a time, Mother Bushcat, Father Bushcat, and Baby Bushcat were watching the monkey playing. They saw how he drank flower nectar, ate fruit, picked flees from his friends fur, and swung through the trees shrieking and chattering. Indeed, he was a very noisy monkey, and best known for his naughty tricks.

“It’s alright for some,” 
said Mother Bushcat, after picking up Baby Bushcat for the fifteenth time that day and putting him back in their den.
“Yes, monkeys lead a very easy life,” 
said Father Bushcat as he stretched and yawned. And then Baby Bushcat piped up, 
“Mummy, can I be a monkey someday when I grow up?”

Mother Buschat laughed and said: 
“Oh how you wish you were a monkey! But no dear, you were born a bushcat and you will always be a bushcat. That’s the law of the jungle.

“Ooooooh!! That’s not fairrrrrrrr!!!!” protested Baby Bushcat, “I’m sure the monkeys would really like me to join them if I asked them nicely.”

“Well you can try dear, and see what happens” said Mother Bushcat, who was sure that her baby would soon forget about his idea to become a monkey.

But Baby Bushcat did not forget his ambition to become a monkey, and as soon as he was old enough to prowl out and about on his own, under strict instructions not to stray too far, and to come back before dark, he set out to find the place where the monkeys were playing. Sure enough, he soon found a monkey sitting with his back to a banana tree.
“Meehow, Mr Monkey, I’m Baby Bushcat, pleased to meet you,”

“Likewise, Baby Bushcat,” said the Monkey as he peeled a banana.

“I’ve seen you play, and I’d like to be a monkey too, if I can please,” said Baby Bushcat.

“Well now, it’s no easy matter for a Baby Bushcat to grow up into a monkey,” said the Monkey.

“Oh, please let me be a monkey, please, I really really want to be a monkey, and I’ll never forget you if you help me, and I’ll always pick your flees whenever you ask me.”

“Alright then,” said the Monkey, “We monkeys like enthusiasm. If you really want to be a monkey first you must learn to scratch my back. I’ve got an itch just in the middle, but mind you are not too sharp with your claws.”

Baby Bushcat scratched the Monkey’s back and the monkey said, 
“Ahh, that’s just right.

“Great, can I be a monkey now?’

“Hold on, hold on, not just yet. Next you must learn to harvest bananas. Climb up into that tree and get me a few.”

Right away, the cat sprang up into the tree and cut down six bananas with his claw, and then he jumped down onto the forest floor and said.
“I’ve done it! I’ve cut down some bananas. Now can I be a monkey? Please! Please!”

“Hold on, hold on, not just yet. We’ve got to sort out that tail of yours first.”

“What’s wrong with my tail? I’ve got a good tail, haven’t I?”

“Yes, it’s ok tail for a baby bushcat, but it isn’t long enough for a monkey.”

“So what can I do?”

“Hold on a minute, I’ll help you.” replied the monkey, who got up and began to pull Baby Bushcat’s tail.

“Oooh, that hurts,” said Baby Bushcat, “is it long enough yet?”

“Hmm, not yet, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll just tie your tail to this branch and that will do the trick.”

“Tie my tail to a branch? I don’t want you to tie my tail to a branch. Please don’t do it.
“Hold on a minute. I thought you said you wanted me to help you to become a monkey?”
“I did.”

“Well then. Just let me tie your tail to this branch, and before too long. You’ll be one.”

“Alright then. I suppose if you have to.”

And so the Baby Bushcat let the monkey tie his tail to a branch of the banana tree. The monkey used some vines to tie him by a strong monkey-knot and then stood back to admire Baby Bushcat who was now swinging upside down from the branch, almost like monkeys do.
“Now can I be a monkey please?” Baby Bushcat asked, as he swung there by his tail.

“Ha Ha! I Monkey tricked you!,” called out the monkey as he flew off through the trees laughing to himself at the wonderful trick he had played on the Baby Bushcat who was left meowing and crying for his mummy. To tell you the truth, it was a very mean trick of the monkey to play on the Baby Bushcat.

Now Baby Bushcat’s tail was really starting to hurt and he started to sob.
“I want my mummy! I don’t want to be a monkey anymore.”

Eventually Mother Bushcat came out to find him and she bit through the vines and let him down.
“Who tied your tail to that branch?” she asked.

And Baby Bushcat sobbed, “The monkey”
“And do you still want to become a monkey?”
“No I don’t because monkeys play mean tricks.”
“Well you’ve learned a good lesson today,” 
said Mother Bushcat. And from that day on Baby Bushcat wanted to grow up to be a Bushcat just like Father Bushcat, which he did, and when he had his own babies, he told them to watch the monkeys and laugh at them, but never to try and be one.

And that was the story of the Cat that wanted to be a Monkey.

Written by Bertie. With the permission of storynoryIllustration by Adobe Stock