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THE MONKEY AND THE WEDGE

IN South Behar there was an open plot of ground on which a temple was being built. One of the carpenters at work upon the temple had partly sawed a long beam of wood in two, and after wedging it open had gone away, leaving the Wedge sticking in the saw-cut. Presently a large troop of Monkeys came frolicking through the trees, and upon reaching the clearing began to sport among the timbers of the half-finished temple. One of these Monkeys, unconscious of approaching fate, got astride of the half-sawed beam and grasping the Wedge, swung himself down into the cleft, so that his tail and legs dangled between the two halves of the beam. Not content with this, in the spirit of mischief natural to all Monkeys, he began to tug at the Wedge, until at last it yielded and slipped out, whereupon the wood closed in upon him and jammed him fast. So perished the Monkey, miserably crushed, the victim of his inquisitive meddling.

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