“I confess freely to you, I could never look long upon a monkey, without very mortifying reflections”

Today is a lovely day with sun, a breeze and blue skies. Gracie is out on the lounge having her morning nap in the shade of the oak tree. Dogs do know how best to enjoy themselves.

Today I have a few errands then I can sit back down and read. My newest read is Defending Jacob.

On the bear front: he is now in Dennis. The black bear was sighted near the Dennis golf course yesterday and according to all reports is still on the move. The sightings are very early morning and at night. Fish and Wildlife as well as the local police have the bear’s best interests at heart and are hoping to keep him safe. If there are problems, he will be moved but only as a last resort. The bear has a twitter account if you want to keep tabs: The Cape Cod Bear or @bearswimmer.

When I was a kid, I never saw much wildlife in the local woods. Maybe a skunk or two came our way but that was about it. Here on the Cape, besides the common skunks, opossums and raccoons, I’ve seen foxes and coyotes, and wild turkeys are now pretty common. One night a deer ran across the street in front of my car a couple of blocks from here and another hit the car while we were driving on the highway. White-tailed rabbits sit in my front yard and drive Gracie crazy. They just stare and she tries to jump the fence.

I remember seeing my first elephant at Benson’s Wild Animal Farm in New Hampshire. We even got to ride on it. I know I told these Benson stories a long time back, but I enjoy them so much they’re worth a second time. My parents told me that on one visit the crowd was around the baboon cage, and they were roaring with laughter when they got sprayed by the baboon. My father said he and my mother watched a while and saw the baboon urinate then fill his mouth and spray the crowd who again roared with laughter. My parents did too but for a different reason.

My favorite incident I remember perfectly well. We were at the round monkey cage, and my brother who was probably 3 or 4 ducked under the rail and got right beside the cage. A monkey grabbed his arm and tried to pull him inside. I believed back then when I was the tender age of 4 or 5 that the monkey had recognized lost kin. My brother screamed until my father yanked his arm away from the monkey who was dearly hoping to add to her family. If I close my eyes, I can see the cage, the monkey and my brother wearing shorts and a striped shirt and being pulled so that his body was flush with the cage. I lived with making fun of him for years on that one incident. It was like a gift wrapped in bright paper and flowing ribbons.

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

Tags: , , , , , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

19 Comments on ““I confess freely to you, I could never look long upon a monkey, without very mortifying reflections””

  1. peterrocker Says:

    How different it all was back then. Rides on the elephant, up close to many other animals. Now the safety nazis won’t allow any thing that remotely may lead to injury etc. The lawyers of the world have a lot to answer for.

    • Kat Says:

      You are absolutely correct. Life was much more interesting and exciting when we were kids. No helicopter parents, just kids enjoying and investigating their world. No fear of lawsuits-my dad would have said it served me right if I fell when doing something stupid. He would never have blamed my neighbor because it was his yard.

      I am always grateful for having grown up when I did.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    That monkey must have been the same one I saw stealing some guy’s glasses right off his face. The guy deserved it, though. He was being a jerk.
    I remember Benson’s as the place where the camel tried to eat my arm. No one told me camels have 3 feet of lip in front of their teeth. The camel took my arm up to the elbow before it reached the hay I was offering. I walked off, wiping camel saliva on my pants. When I looked back, a little boy was just about to feed the camel. I let him because experience is the best teacher.
    I have lots of weird zoo animal experiences but my fondest memory, and the one that surprises me even now, is when I petted the big male Bengal tiger at the Stone Zoo. I was 11. It was very hot and the tiger was flopped down along the cement base of the bars. I figured my chances were good. Keep one eye on the tail and one eye on the head and gently stroke the part that’s farthest from the teeth. He picked his head up just the least little bit because he didn’t want to lose his relax. He eyed my hand, glanced up at my face, decided I wasn’t worth the effort and flopped his head back down. Two more light strokes and he flicked the tip of his tail on the cement. I had been dismissed.
    Incidentally, none of the many adults standing around had anything to say before, during or after.
    Good luck to the bear and I hope he stays out of trouble.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I’m laughing about you and the camel. Your arm must have been disgusting with all that salivia. Camels are spitting animals so you were lucky it didn’t halu off and spit a mess right at you. I too would have let the little boy experience the camel for himself.

      I remember that tiger at the Stone Zoo. I used to go there all the time when I was around 10. My brother and I befriended a man who worked there, and he let us go behind the cage area, open the doors and feed the animals. We even got to feed Babe the elephant.

      I guess it’s a fairly young bear. It certainly looks small in the pictures I’ve seen. They figure it has been 100 years since there were bears here, and this maybe just the first and not the last.

  3. lilydark Says:

    I love the story about the monkey and your description. I am so tired today, I can’t move from the bed. I wish a monkey had taken my sister to monkeyland. Well, maybe……
    Sleepy Waves,

    • Kat Says:

      I wished the monkey good luck, but my father had other plans for my brother. I will never forget that cage and my brother with his arm being pulled through.

      Sweet Dreams!

  4. Hedley Says:


    I haven’t seen this little craft since a Saturday in January 1965. All school was cancelled, yes we went to school on a Saturday, and we gathered around the TV to say goodbye to a Great Warrior.

    And so we will see Havengore again on Sunday when it participates in the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on the River Thames. It looks like the choice is CNN featuring Piers Morgan (no thank you) or BBC America which will carry the domestic broadcast. The Beeb starts at 8.30 and runs until 1.00 (EST) while I think CNN joins the festivities later.

    One Thousand boats and a million people on the embankment. As the flotilla passes under Waterloo Bridge its worth rolling out Ray’s “Waterloo Sunset”. Each day I would cross the bridge and stroll up the Aldwich and on to Houghton Street. A time in my life of complete intellectual freedom.

    Our friends south of the border in Canada will be rocking the day starting with Coronation Street followed by full coverage.

    Hope that the KTCC family enjoy what is bound to be a spectacular event

    • Bob Says:

      What does any of this have to do with an elephant ride as a kid or getting to close to a monkey?

      • Kat Says:

        hedley is making sure we don’t miss the pageantry of the flotilla on Sunday!

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      That is a lovely craft-I looked it up on Google images.

      I’ll be using my DVR so I can watch the celebrations later as my company will be here, and I’m having guests for dinner as wll.

      My TV will be tuned to BBCAmerica!

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat it will be very interesting to see who is in the Royal vessel along with her Majesty and Prince Philip. Keep an eye on who is rowing for them as they follow the tide down the river.
        What an event it will be. Heard the Today show is heading for London next week and we will be getting coverage of the Jubilee concert AND the service of thanksgiving. Terrific for the KTCC family.
        I will be giving the Anglo-American perspective.

  5. Zoey & Me Says:

    The monkey story is freightening for a kid that age. Let’s hoist one for your Dad. !! We had Deer in the woods which was wonderful as we were all kids in love with Bambi. Those huge tortoise turtles were everywhere; rabbits too; and a thousand different types of birds. Northern Virginia was loaded with wild life.

    • Kat Says:

      I don’t know! I would have loved to have been the only child at that point. If I could have, I’d have helped the monkey!

      Two rabbits were just here driving Gracie crazy. She wanted out the front door!

  6. Bill S. Says:

    When I saw the foto I thought that it was at Benson’s in Hudson, NH. The place actually closed about twenty years ago, and is now a town-owned recreation area with trails and picnic tables. Some of the old buildings have been restored to their former glory.

    When the kids were little we all enjoyed going there. I guess that’s progress.

    • Kat Says:

      That is Benson’s! That’s where my parents took us when my brother and I were really young. That’s probably the very elephant I rode on!

      I’m sorry that it has gone. I looked at several pictures of it in the good old days on Google when I was hunting for the right shot for today.

  7. Bob Says:

    Living in New York City as a kid I never got any closer to an animal than the bars around an animal’s cage. I remember at about age five asking my dad what the monkey was doing with his ‘we we’ as the creature derived enjoyment watching the crowd cringe as he happily masterbate.

    When I moved to Texas and went to camp one summer I got much closer to animals especially horses. Although I never became very good at riding horses, I enjoyed taking them on walks and trots in the woods. I would love to ride an elephant today but I think I would have to travel to Africa or India to indulge. The lawyers haven’t overwhelmed them.

    • Kat Says:

      I never saw the monkey masturbating, but there was one in the zoo in Kumasi, Ghana who used to smoke. He’d steal them from people, sit on a rock and enjoy his butt (as in cigarette!)

      I think you’re right about India or Africa. On The Amazing Race this year they had to ride elephants quite a long way including through a stream. The Teams were thrilled by the ride.

  8. MT C Says:

    We used to visit Benson’s on occasion and usually as a part of a family get together. No, not a reunion, we all lived to close together at that time to have to declare one of those picnics a reunion.

    I’d like to say I remember that money cage and a lot of the other things there. I wasn’t really that young but just don’t remember as I’m sure that with the number of kids there were in our herd, something must have always been happening.

    That is funny about your brother. Its great having something like that to remember for them at various times in your life. About all I recall is tossing peanuts to the monkeys and maybe the elephants and the giraffe with the long black tongue who really loved bananas. My mother used to remind my father a lot about that incident, and they would both laugh. I don’t recall what happened but it had something to do with the giraffe getting his head in the car.

    On one of the trips there, my uncle thought he had made a friend of the llama in the petting area. He was all hyped up about how it followed him around and would do tricks. (he was the crazy one, of course). So he was trying to get the llama to do some trick or other. And as he was trying to encourage him in the right direction with pokes and prods, the llama looked him straight in the eye and spit. We all died laughing.


    • Kat Says:

      It is amazing how many of us have memories of Benson’s. Not only do we have memories, but we have out-loud laughing memories of things that happened while we were there.

      The llama story is great. I would have loved it when I was a kid. Things like animals spitting were always funny back then!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: