Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
151. The Dancing Monkeys (Perry 463)
A PRINCE had some Monkeys trained to dance. Being naturally great mimics
of men's actions, they showed themselves most apt pupils, and when arrayed
in their rich clothes and masks, they danced as well as any of the courtiers.
The spectacle was often repeated with great applause, till on one occasion
a courtier, bent on mischief, took from his pocket a handful of nuts and
threw them upon the stage. The Monkeys at the sight of the nuts forgot
their dancing and became (as indeed they were) Monkeys instead of actors.
Pulling off their masks and tearing their robes, they fought with one
another for the nuts. The dancing spectacle thus came to an end amidst
the laughter and ridicule of the audience.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google