The First Monkey
Long ago in a thick forest, a young girl lived under the care of the goddess of weaving. Here she lived happily and without care, for everything that she wanted to eat was provided for her by her patroness.
One day the goddess said to the girl, “Take this cotton, clean it, and make out a dress for yourself out of it.” Now, the girl knew nothing about making cloth and weaving it, so she said to the goddess, “When the cotton is cleaned, is it ready for use?”
“No,” answered the guardian, “after it is cleaned, it must be beaten.”
“Well, after it is beaten, is it ready for use?” said the lazy girl. The goddess said that before it could be used, it would have to be spun. “Well, after it is spun,” persisted the saucy maiden, “is it ready for use?”
“No, it must next be woven into cloth, cut, and sewn,” answered the patient goddess.
“Oh!” said, the girl, “it will take a long time and much hard work to make clothes that way. This leather hide which you have given me to beat the cotton on, will make me better clothing, because it will wear longer.” So she covered herself with the leather. The goddess was so angry at the girl for her laziness that she decided that the leather should not only be her dress but also her very skin. Then the goddess took the stick for beating the cotton and thrusting it between the maiden’s buttocks said to her, “This stick will become part of your body, and you will use it for climbing purposes. As a penalty for laziness, henceforth you shall live in tress in the forest, and there you will find your fruit.”
Thus, originated the first monkey with a coat of leather and a tail.