Children Story: The Monkey and His Lantern Show

Here is another take on one of Florian fables, translated by Gen. J.W. Phelps , and illustration J.J. Grandville

monkey lantern

The Monkey and His Lantern Show


There once lived a great performing Monkey. Along with his Master, they would put on shows around town and far away for people to see. The Monkey would do juggling, tight rope walking, play the drums and many other tricks. While his master would do puppet shows on the little stage or with a lantern and a screen. There was also the Dog, who was a great traveling companion and he would help them with the shows.

One day while they were at home resting, the Master told the Monkey and the Dog that he was going into town to spend the night and catch up with an old friend. The Master asked them both to take good care of the house while he was away. As the Master left the house and began to walk far down the road, the Monkey thought of a great idea. “Why don’t we put on a lantern show for all our friends and then afterwards we can talk and catch up,” suggested the Monkey. The Dog thought it over and then said, “Fine, as long as we don’t make a mess. This could actually be very fun.” And so, the Monkey took out the screen and hung it up against the wall. He placed the lantern on the opposite side of the room and on top of boxes. Then he prepared a candle, matches and the puppets for the show. Meanwhile the Dog went out and around town to invite their friends the Cat, the Rabbit, the Hen, the Pig, the Turkey, and the Goose.

All their friends arrived and the Dog showed them to their seats. While the Monkey, lit the candle and put it inside the lantern. He began to tell the story of a little girl who lost her shoe and travelled far and wide to find it. He was using his puppets but something was wrong. “I can’t see anything on the screen”, said the Pig. “Yes, there is nothing on the screen except the light,” the Cat said in agreement with the Pig. “Are we missing some part of this lantern show?” asked the Turkey. The Dog quickly told his friends that everything would be sorted out and rushed to the Monkey. The Monkey had a puzzled look on his face. He did not understand why it was not working. He was doing it the same way he saw the Master do it. Until the Dog pointed out to the Monkey, “You have to put the puppets into the light side of the lantern not the other side.” The Monkey quickly fixed his mistake and continued with the show. After the show, the Monkey and everyone else laughed at his silly mistake. “Next time, everything will be 10 times better,” chuckled the Monkey.


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