My monkey brother loved his cage, for awhile.
He was born in captivity, I assume, and had not lived in a jungle. I’m not certain, but he surely had those free “monkey jungle memories’ in his DNA.
A gorilla is twenty times stronger than a human. A chimp is one and a half times stronger than a man. I mention this for a reason.
Not to brag about my monkey brother’s strength, but to remind us all to be wary around any primate that comes our way unless we have a close personal relationship with him or her. Even then it is wise to be on guard. They are easy to rile up and if you have a bit of food with you, your number will be up in short order.
My monkey was content in his lovely abode for some time, but as with all of us, he wanted more and sooner than later.
He used his primate strength to rip the wire open on his cage and went out to learn about his neighborhood. I had forgotten to put him on his chain. I was too soft hearted for my own good it seems. This did not go unnoticed by him, sadly.
Monk went after every dog in sight and by the time I returned home from school that day the neighborhood looked like the scene of the villagers in the original Frankenstein movie.
Each child was armed with a rake or broom and was on the march looking for my little brother. They only lacked the torches from the movie to recreate the scene perfectly. However, they had no idea of what fate awaited them if they found him.
“Hey Ray, your monkey is on the loose”, a dozen boys yelled while running down the street in all directions as chaos ruled.
“He has eaten most everything in site including low hanging fruit and the dog food in every yard around. He has beat up several dogs for no good reason, as well.”
I responded knowing the monkey mind set well, by now.
“A monkey needs no reason to beat up humans, dogs or other creatures, guys. Everything is fair game to a monkey. If he can catch it, he will try to kill it and eat it. That is in their DNA.
Go home and lock the door behind you and bolt the windows as well. You are all in mortal danger until I gather up my fury little brother. I will take care of this little set back quickly”
I ran home and set my lawn chair down in the front yard and called for “Monk” in our special way. I had a few meal worms in my pocket, just in case he played hard to get.
He heard me call him with a monkey hoot and a grunt and quickly dropped down from a distant tree. He had a dog biscuit in one had and a hard avocado in the other.
He ran like he was trying to catch a bus, upright and with determination in his eyes and some disappointment on his face. He came to me automatically and without thinking. It was a reflex that he had no control over. He couldn’t help himself. He had been conditioned by, you know who.
He jumped onto my lap and proceeded to peal the avocado and eat it as he watched the landscape around him for thieves. Monkeys and apes are a paranoid lot, but not without good reason. They live among other monkeys and apes after all. None of them can be trusted.
His tastes covered a wide range of produce and meats. He once ate an entire turkey carcass for Thanksgiving and didn’t look up until it was completely gone. He had great teeth by the way, as most primates do. Be warned and remember this, just in case.
We sat and visited and picked salt off each other until he had calmed down from his first foray into the interesting neighborhood around him. I’m sure he now knew where every dog lived and had made a mental list of them for future reference incase he made another escape. That troubled me, just a little.
I took him back to his cage and put him back inside. He seemed happy at the moment but dark clouds were gathering behind his eyes. He was formulating a plan.
Soon after his first romp, my primate friend escaped his “monkey penthouse” once more. My mother spied him in our yard and acted quickly to save the neighborhood from danger and our family from lawsuits and worse. She knew what would follow if he left the yard. She had to act, even without a plan.
He was busy eating all the canned dog food in the two dog dishes in our yard when she spied him. Against her better judgment, she opened the rear sliding door and let him in to our modest home.
She stepped back as he entered with a look of calm disinterest, contrition and then disdain on his small face. He was a crafty fellow, no doubt. My mother had been taken in by the sweet appearance of the fury creature, once more. My mother thought that he bowed as he entered the house, but that was just him skulking.
He soon was running “amok” through her house with canned dog food on his hands. He then began climbing the drapes while relieving himself in each window along the way.
“The drapes will never be the same,” my mother thought as he climb another set in another widow. She was correct of course, the drapes would never be the same. A small monkey can contain a lot of urine, by the way. Look up the phrase “amok” now. I will wait.
Isn’t that interesting. For you lazy folks, it follows here. Noun. amok n or m (plural amoks) (historical, chiefly uncountable) A murderous frenzy, a killing spree in Malay culture. One who runs amok, someone runs amok, someone is on such a killing spree.
A very apt description of the similar events unfolding in my mothers home at that moment, wouldn’t you agree? The word almost looks like monkey. Perhaps something important was lost in translation.
My mother could handle herself well and had to do so often in the past. She found her broom which was always near at hand and which had been used “when necessary on her own boys as needed” and went after Monk.
She chased him around the house in circles down the connecting hallways and through my sisters room more than once. On one circuit my mother opened the coat closet door.
He realized that he had met his match in my mother as she chased close behind him. After running through the house and getting the lay of the land for his next incursion into our home, he slowed down just a little and she swept him into the closet. She closed the door quickly on him and leaned up against it.
Monk was trapped but he gave an escape some heated monkey thinking. He did not surrender, he simply put up in the closet to asses his options. They were rather limited, of course. He felt safe there for the moment, I suppose, and pondered his fate.
Monk spent the day in the closet until I returned home from school that day. He did do a rather extensive search of it for anything edible or interesting, all in vain, by the way. He had hours to do that. He was a curious creature.
My mother leaned against the door for a moment and dreamed of what she would do to me when I returned home from school.
Upon my arrival home I saw my mother smoking on the couch. She pointed out the broom nearby that was very familiar to me and I saw the disaster around her. She made her desires very clear to me. She was very quiet for a moment and when she spoke, she was very concise. Thankfully she had time to calm down before I arrived home.
“Get that thing out of here and make it quick. Just look at my house. That monkey’s days are numbered, Raymond.”
My “Monk” was a pleasant creature while under controlled circumstances but would quickly reverted to his monkey traditions of pillaging and worse if given half a chance. I had to do something to control him and protect humanity and soon, or else.
I was careful to use the chain and a collar on him to keep him from escaping again.
He looked like an organ grinder’s sweet monkey, soon enough as he held the chain in one hand and fed himself with the other.
Unable to escape and run roughshod over anyone in his path, he settled down quickly and played the part of a sweet and innocent pet until he could make his get away in the near future when I was lured in by his lies.
Do you ever wonder why you don’t see organ grinders and their monkeys anymore? It isn’t because we don’t love them and their cute little monkeys. It’s easy money for the both of them, after all.
It’s simply because the monkeys have killed off all of their human companions and headed out into the wilderness or back to their respective countries, incognito.
I didn’t wait for that to happen to me or my family.
One early Saturday morning I took “Monk” back to the pet store and returned him with some regret. I did love him at first, but those feelings of mine and his weren’t the same any longer. His behavior had proved that he couldn’t be “civilized” or trusted to any degree.
He was a little older now and was perhaps we had outgrown our relationship. I supposed that he might have been interested in more adult monkey activities.
When I entered the store, he saw the owners daughter whom he apparently loved more than I and ran to her from across the room. He climbed up on her shoulder and wrapped his little monkey arm sweetly around her neck.
She smiled and rubbed his little furry head. I think he smiled back, the little ——-.
“No refunds on monkeys,” she said sternly and without smiling.
I felt betrayed and hurt. But that is the cost of thinking that a monkey will ever really love you. They will pretend to love you until the food runs out or something better comes their way.
He was simply bidding his time with me and now with that young girl until a better opportunity comes his way. That is what monkeys do.
I think about him now and then with mixed feelings and wonder what became of him. Its been fifty-five years now. He would be in the late prime of his monkey life.
Did he hook up with a monkey floozy and become a second story thief? He’d make a lousy safecracker without opposable thumbs.
Is he lying on a sunny beach somewhere and watching his grandchildren romp in the warm waves?
I hope so. I can’t hold a grudge forever.