April 2, 2016 by Chris French
The first time I read this book to my kids they geeked out because the main character sells the driving caps I wear everyday so that’s kinda cool for me. Here’s why you should read it to your kids…
Apparently back in the day, before department stores, you could buy a brand new driving cap from a traveling salesman. The story opens with him walking around the city selling his wares. The problem is no one wants to buy a cap that day so he looks for a comfy tree right outside the city to nap under. Unfortunately this particular tree was filled with monkeys who love both caps and imitating the unwary salesman unfortunate enough to unknowingly step into their territory. Said monkeys steal the man’s caps and refuse to give them back despite his furious finger shaking. In fact, when he shakes his finger and then fists at them they only shake their fingers and then fists back at him. By this time the man is so angry he takes his own hat off and throws it on the ground. The imitation loving monkeys throw the stolen hats to the ground. The man collects the hats, stacks them back on his head and heads back into town.
The Spiritual Significance
The lesson I’ve taken from this book is you can’t do anything when you get mad. I’ve spent years trying to conquer my anger. On good days I let the petty things go and forgive easily. On bad days I can erupt in fury over the silliest things. If I’m not constantly aware of my anger triggers they slip up on me and I find myself so mad it’s tough to think straight. I see the same anger in my son.
I try to teach him, and remind myself, how to conquer his anger.We talk about stuff like not allowing our frustration to build to the point of anger. If something is pushing our buttons we stay as far away from it as possible. I like to remind us that some things just aren’t worth getting mad about. Tonite, after I put him and his sister to bed, I heard sobbing coming from his room. His pillow pet stars were on, but they weren’t changing colors and he was devastated. I understand that’s part of being a toddler. I also understand just how quickly that can turn into anger. I learned a long time ago that if I allowed my anger to run rampant it would control me. I hope for better things for him.
This silly story about the monkeys and caps allows me to teach him, and my daughter, a very profound truth. You can’t do anything when you’re mad.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
– Proverbs 12.18
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
– James 1.19-20