Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Monkeys' Wedding Day
Looking up the phrase on Google produces a few references to the phrase - see, for example, this site - enough to prove that it relates to very ancient folk lore - ancient because, although monkey can be replaced by tiger, fox, rat, hyena and many other animals, it is used widely around the world.
The African origins of the phrase, as explained to me years ago, lie in a folk story. Back in the days when the world was young and all animals lived peacefully together, two monkeys wanted to get married. Only the lion could perform the ceremony but, being lazy, didn't want to. However, in answer to their pestering, he promised that, next time the sun came out while it was raining, he would perform the ceremony. The monkeys, unwilling to wait until the rainy season, which was months away, chose the next bright, sunny day and, while the lion was lying in his den, climbed up and scattered a gourd-full of water in front of its entrance so it looked like rain, obliging the lion to marry them.
It's a lovely story yet it's more than just a story because there's moral hidden in it.