Gentrification happening all over greater Boston area. Ours is the city with the fasted moving development and displacement.

It is important for each of us to do our part. Most neighborhoods already have organizations working to protect them from aggressive development. Join yours. If we can’t keep an eye out for our neighborhoods, who will? Today, join Chinese Progressive Association in their Right to Remain campaign!!


Summary: Monkey must use all of his wits to cancel dinner when he discovers he’s the one on Crocodile’s menu. And when Crocodile is outwitted, he gives credit where it’s due.

Monkey was living by himself near a riverbank. He was very strong, and he was a great jumper.

In the middle of the river there was a beautiful island covered with mango, jackfruit and other fruit trees. There happened to be a rock sticking out of the water halfway between the bank and the island. Although it looked impossible, Monkey was used to jumping from the riverbank to the rock, and from the rock to the island. He would eat fruits all day and then return home by the same route each evening.

Lady Crocodile lived next to the same river. She was expecting her first brood. Because she was pregnant the Lady Crocodile sometimes wished for strange things to eat.

Lady Crocodile had been amazed, just like the other animals, by the way Monkey jumped back and forth to the island. One day she developed a sudden craving to eat the heart of Monkey! She made out to get Monkey’s heart in time for dinner.

Lady Crocodile went and laid herself down on the rock between the riverbank and the island. She waited for Monkey to return that evening, planning to catch him.

As usual, Monkey spent the rest of the day on the island. When it was time to return to his home on the riverbank, he noticed that the rock seemed to have grown. It was higher above water than he remembered it. He investigated and saw that the river level was the same as in the morning, yet the rock was definitely higher. Immediately he suspected the cunning Lady Crocodile.

To find out for sure, he called out in the direction of the rock, “Hi there, Rock! How are you?” He yelled this three times. Then he shouted, “You used to answer me when I spoke to you. But today you say nothing. What’s wrong with you, Rock?”

Lady Crocodile thought, “No doubt on other days this rock used to talk to the monkey. I can’t wait any longer for this dumb rock to speak! I will just have to speak for the rock, and trick the monkey.” So she shouted, “I’m fine, Monkey. What do you want?”

Monkey asked, “Who are you?” Without thinking, the crocodile replied, “I’m Lady Crocodile. “Why are you lying there?” asked the monkey. Lady Crocodile said, “I’m expecting to take your heart! There’s no escape for you, Monkey.”

The clever monkey thought, “Aha! She’s right – there’s no other way back to the riverbank. So I will have to trick her.

Then he yelled, “Lady Crocodile, my friend, it looks like you’ve got me. So I’ll give you my heart. Open your mouth and take it when I come your way.”

Lady Crocodile, giddy and gleeful, opened her mouth. She opened it so wide that her eyes were squeezed shut. When Monkey saw this, he immediately jumped onto the top of Crocodile’s head, and then instantly to the riverbank.

When Lady Crocodile realized she’d been outsmarted, she admired Monkey’s victory. Like a good sport in a contest, she praised the winner. She said, “Monkey, my intention towards you was unwholesome – I wanted to kill you and take your heart to have a finer supper. Monkey, you have great cunning. You know no fear. You wanted only to save yourself. I congratulate you and promise I’ll let you alone after this.”

Monkey replied, “Thank you, Lady, but I shall be on the watch for you just the same.”

– Part of Series of Jataka Tales Re-interpreted for R Visions for Chinatown’s Right to Remain!