Once upon a time, in a jungle you have already read about in one of your picture books, there was an enormous rock known as The Boulder. In the trees and caves around The Boulder, lived a troop of monkeys and most of them were satisfied with the lives they had made for themselves. There were, however, a select few monkeys who were allowed to live on top of The Boulder. These monkeys were known as The Boulder Monkeys, and they no longer had to work for food and were groomed by others at least four times a day. They were also able to make decisions about how the troop operated. Ordinary monkeys were never sure how you got to live on top of The Boulder, but they knew that you had to earn it. This was the way it had been for many years, and, as far as any of the monkeys could tell, everyone was happy with this arrangement. That was until the day that Kayla the Monkey decided that she wanted to become a Boulder Monkey.
Her parents had tried to warn her against the idea. “No good can come of this,” they would say. “You will just make the Boulder Monkeys and the other monkeys upset for no good reason.” But, Kayla thought that she had the perfect reason for attempting to get a spot on the boulder: She wanted it. Kayla’s first approach was to walk up and ask The Boulder Monkeys directly if she could come and live with them on The Boulder. Naturally, this was met with extreme bouts of laughter by the monkeys on The Boulder, then some calm, then more laughter.
Kayla then started to bribe The Boulder Monkeys by bringing them banquets of nuts and fruits which they promptly ate, but still did not invite her to live with them. She then tried NOT bringing them banquets which didn’t bother the monkeys at all as others delivered enough food for them to be satisfied throughout all the hours of the day. Trying to convince others in the troop to stop giving food to The Boulder Monkeys was also of no use and caused many monkeys to stop talking to Kayla altogether.
Determined to get her spot on The Boulder, Kayla tried a different approach. She started working harder than ever before. Each day, Kayla was the first to wake up and was then the last one to go to sleep. She prided herself on being the monkey who collected the most food and had groomed more monkeys in one week than she had done over the past two months. If members of the troop had to go out on a fight, Kayla was there, doing what she could to help her fellow monkeys win. Every now and again, Kayla would look up at The Boulder Monkeys and she would see them looking at her, whispering to each other. She knew that the time would soon come for her invitation to The Boulder.
Kayla spent the next four months continuing to exhaust herself each and every day. Her passion had turned to anger and she told herself each night that tomorrow would be the day things would change. She did not want to risk giving up on the day that the Boulder Monkeys made their decision, so she pushed through her anger and kept working. After six months without any word from the monkeys, Kayla decided to spend her energy differently. Using the rocks she had sharpened to help cut away the vines covering their homes, Kayla started digging a hole at the base of The Boulder. The Boulder Monkeys and the other monkeys didn’t pay much attention to her at first, thinking that Kayla just needed a way to let out her frustrations. She dug for four days, and, once the hole had become the size of a small cave, it had become impossible to ignore.
“Stop your digging at once!” one of the Boulder Monkeys yelled. “You will destroy the trees in which you live if this boulder rolls away!” But, Kayla continued to dig. A decision was made that action must be taken after they could no longer see Kayla once she had climbed inside the hole. This decision came too late and the boulder had started to wobble under its own weight. Kayla quickly wiggled her way out of the cave she had dug and was watching from a distance. The Boulder Monkeys were panicking and they reluctantly made the decision to leave the top of The Boulder. They hopped over to the highest boulder next to them and watched as their home rolled down the hill, knocking down several trees just as they had predicted.
“Now, what will you do?” shouted Milled. “You must become one of us!”
The Boulder Monkeys laughed louder than they had ever laughed before.
“My dear, Kayla!” shouted one of The Boulder Monkeys. “We will simply live on this boulder instead!”
And so, from on top of their new boulder, The Boulder Monkeys watched the ordinary monkeys, Kayla included, rebuild their houses, in between bringing them food and grooming them at least four times a day.