Daily Story Page – Jocko the Monkey

Daily Story

[F.D. Grant submits a number of anecdotes U.S. Grant had omitted from his autobiography:] Just after receiving my commission as lieutenant-general [9 March 1864], the President called me aside to speak to me privately. After a brief reference to the military situation, he said he thought he could illustrate what he wanted to say by a story, which he related as follows: “At one time there was a great war among the animals, and one side had great difficulty in getting a commander, who had sufficient confidence in himself. Finally, they found a monkey, by the name of Jocko, who said that he thought he could command their army if his tail could be made a little longer. So they got more tail and spliced it on to his caudal appendage. He looked at it admiringly, and then thought he ought to have little more still. This was added, and again he called for more. The splicing process was repeated many times, until they had coiled Jocko’s tail around the room, filling all the space. Still he called for more tail, and, there being no other place to coil it, they began wrapping it around his shoulders. He continued his call for more, and they kept on winding the additional tail about him until its weight broke him down.”

Emanuel Hertz, Anecdotes By & About Abraham Lincoln, p. 86.