"Monkey Meets the Demon Digger" (Season 1, Episode 15)

[Contributed by Chris Hadgis (chrish@mincom.com)]

------------------------------------------------------------

"Even silence can not make a wise man out of a fool, wherever he travels" [narrator]

The pilgrims are travelling through mountains when they here a digging sound. They follow the sound to a tunnel entrance. They argue about who should explore the tunnel. Sandy is made to go in because he can see best in the dark. He stumbles through the tunnel until he sees the digger. He panics and runs out. The digger emerges a few moments later and we see he is a priest.

He warns the pilgrims of danger in the mountains. He has been in the mountains for more than 20 years. His wife and children have died on this mountain. He has spent 22 years digging this tunnel. Monkey, Sandy, and Pigsy laugh at him. Tripitaka decides they will help the old man dig. The disciples argue.

"You've got a soft heart master, and your head is no better" [Monkey]

Tripitaka is adamant and orders them to work, even when they start crying. They begin digging.

Pigsy : I'm an intellectual. I work with my head.
Monkey: All right, carry the rocks on your head.

Monkey: Just our luck to meet a priest who is also a mole.

Tripitaka collapses, but the digger urges him on. Tripitaka goes outside and prays to Quon Yin for strength. Monkey sees him. He tries to get Tripitaka to stop digging, but Tripitaka is stubborn.

Monkey has an idea. He flies around to the other side of the mountain. After a little surveying, he turns his staff into a digging tool and burrows quickly through the mountain, almost to the existing tunnel. When he returns, he urges Tripitaka to rest while he digs some more. Of course, within moments he has broken through to the tunnel he has just created. The tunnel is now complete.

Tripitaka becomes suspicious and wonders how the tunnel was finished so quickly. Monkey tells him he used magic. Sandy and Pigsy are happy that it is done, but Tripitaka is cross with him. He says it is wrong to use magic because they are lazy. Monkey is fed up and loses his temper. He calls Tripitaka a fool and an ungrateful idiot. Tripitaka says they don't need Monkey and dimisses him. Monkey leaves.

Monkey is walking by himself, still angry with Tripitaka, the gods, and Buddha.

"I've met the gods. Pretty boring bunch." [Monkey]

"Look at Buddha himself. He's just as daft." [Monkey]

He kicks a large tree and knocks it over! After a while, Monkey comes to the conclusion that he is bored.

The digger returns to the tunnel and finds it is completed and the pilgrims have gone. He is furious, and turns into a demon.

Tripitaka, Sandy, and Pigsy are walking along. Sandy says Tripitaka was too harsh on Monkey.

Monkey has an idea. He appears to the others as Quon Yin. He tells Tripitaka that Monkey did the right thing and Tripitaka was wrong. Pigsy agrees with 'Quon Yin' but then goes on to list the names that Monkey called Tripitaka. 'Quon Yin' eventually snaps at him to shut up. He tells Tripitaka to apologise to Monkey. Tripitaka is sorry about what he has done. At this point, Sandy becomes suspicious about 'Quon Yin' and tells Tripitaka to use the headache sutra. A nervous 'Quon Yin' tries to get away but Tripitaka applies the headache sutra and Monkey returns to his true form. Tripitaka is even more furious now. Monkey tells him to go to Hell and leaves them again.

Monkey is on his own again, sulking. He ends up taking shelter from the rain in an old shack.

"They'd be sorry if I died, except that I can't" [Monkey]

"What's the point of it? If it hasn't got a point, where's the point of that?" [Monkey]

"Anything you do long enough gets boring, and I've got forever" [Monkey]

Monkey realises he should apologise to Tripitaka, but remembers that Tripitaka said it was too late for that.

Tripitaka, Sandy, and Pigsy are also sheltering from the rain. Sandy thinks Monkey is close by, sad and lonely. The digger turns up at the hut. Pigsy thinks it is to thank them, but he is wrong, and the digger hits him on the head. Sandy tells an irate digger to calm down. He accuses them of finishing the tunnel to steal the stone egg laid by the king of all crows before he died. Sandy thinks the digger is Monkey in another disguise, and so does Tripitaka who uses the headache sutra again. Monkey gets a headache, but the digger is unaffected. The digger reveals he is the king of all crows.

The crow demon has captured them. He is sure they have stolen the egg and threatens to feed Tripitaka to the crows the way he has sacrificed other pilgrims. He gives them two minutes to tell him where the egg is.

The horse finds Monkey sleeping in some hay. He tells him the others are in danger. Monkey rides to the rescue. The crow demon whistles and the crows attack. Monkey uses fireworks to scare the crows away.

The crow demon asks Monkey for the egg. He assumes his demon form and fights Monkey. He whistles for his crows and they attack Monkey who whistles for his cloud. He flies off and the crows follow him. He flies under a waterfall and drowns manuy of the crows. More arrive. He extends his staff and spins around, killing many crows and driving the others off. He continues fighting the crow demon and eventually buries him in the ground head first.

Monkey returns to the others and is upset when he sees Tripitaka is injured. They apologise to each other. Monkey hugs Tripitaka and cries. Pigsy calls him a cry-baby, but they are glad to see him back. Sandy and Pigsy want Tripitaka to take Monkey back. Tripitaka is silent. Monkey gives Pigsy and Sandy some parting advice.

Monkey: You've got to give up women and eating too much. They'll shorten your life.
Pigsy : I'm old enough.

Monkey: Will you give up being a philosopher
Sandy : That depends on your definition.

Monkey asks Tripitaka to be more forgiving. He even says goodbye to the horse before leaving. At the last moment. Tripitaka asks him back. Both of them admit they were wrong.

"Grey hairs do not make a wise man" [narrator]

Pigsy apologises for saying Monkey called Tripitaka names that he didn't. Monkey raps him over the head with his staff. He offers Tripitaka a hit but he declines. Monkey spins his staff around and hits himself in the back of the head. The others laugh at him.

The pilgrims continue their journey.


NOTES:

* There are two songs (or maybe one song played twice) when Monkey is on his own.

* Where was the demon digger before he returned to the tunnel to find it complete? The others didn't seem to notice he was gone, and left without saying goodbye.

* Monkey has mastered 108 transformations.

* When Monkey is given the headache sutra the first time, he ends up trembling on the ground and foaming at the mouth. Does this mean Tripitaka was using high power?

* When the horse finds Monkey, we see him in his pyjamas.

* The special effect of all the crows in the sky reminds me a little of the flying monkeys in 'Wizard of Oz'.

* The feathers of the crows Monkey hits with his staff look an awful lot like hair.

* Is that final hit in the head a blooper?



Back to the Monkey Summaries page