Fox and Monkey
This legend was translated into English for us by Andrea López Delgado.
Qamaqe (Fox) and Kusilu (Monkey) were thieves.
One night they went into a servant's quarters to steal quinoa mush.
Monkey used his hands to eat, but Fox stuck his whole head into the pot and got stuck there.
"Help, break this pot off me!"
Monkey tried to find a rock in the dark. He found the servant's head instead. "Here's a round stone,
come and smash the pot on this."
"Good!" Fox smashed the pot on the servant's head. The enraged man woke up and grabbed Monkey, but Fox got away
in the confusion.
The servant put Monkey in a cage. The next day he told the lord what happened.
"What should we do with this thieving monkey?" "Pour boiling water on him and skin him alive."
Meanwhile Fox came by to see what had happened to Monkey. "What's going to happen to you in there, brother?"
"Oh, I'm in big trouble now!" said Monkey. "They're going to make me get married!"
"What? Get married?"
"The lord has a daughter and he's going to make me marry her. This is terrible!"
Fox said "Don't worry about it. I'll just untie you and change places with you."
"Good!" So they changed places. Soon the two men came in with boiling water and poured it over Fox. "Stop!
Don't do that! I'll marry your daughter!" But they poured until the water was all gone and Fox was scalded from head to toe.
The men left to get a knife to skin him with, but Fox hadn't tied himself up too tight, so he got loose and ran out of the house.
He started looking for Monkey to get revenge. Finally he found him on a hillside. Monkey saw him coming and quickly got underneath
a big sloping stone, pretending to be holding it up. "There you are!" said Fox. "Good!"
"Be quiet, brother! If you make me move I will drop this stone and it will kill us both and destroy that village down there. Look, you're stronger
than I am, why don't you hold it up while I go down to the village for help?"
Fox believed him and pushed on the stone while Monkey ran away pretending to get help. After a while Fox got tired of standing there and
decided to try jumping away from the rock so it couldn't fall on him. He jumped as far as he could but when he looked back, the big rock
hadn't moved. "That trick will be his last."
One night Fox found Monkey on the riverbank eating cheese. Monkey quickly gave him the cheese and said "Brother, I didn't come back
because no one wanted to help."
Fox ate the cheese. He was still hungry. "Where did you steal this cheese?" he asked Monkey.
"I'll show you if you stop trying to kill me."
"Okay," said Fox.
Monkey showed him the reflection of the moon in the water. "There's the rest of the cheese, brother."
So Fox immediately jumped into the river and drowned.
More stories to read:
Indian trickster legends
Indian animal stories
Legends about foxes
Legends about monkeys
Learn more about:
A Journey Into the Lost Realm of the Aymara
The Aymara language
The Aymara culture
Indians of South America
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2015 Contacts and FAQ page
Back to the Native American legends website
Buy some Native American books
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?