Posted tagged ‘Monkey’

What About All Those Bananas?

September 15, 2012

Sorry, but this will have to be quick as my time is running down. I am back in Accra as I will be leaving tomorrow. I won’t be able to fill you in on all that has happened since I left the monkeys, but I figured just the monkeys will do for today!

The Monkey Sanctuary is off of a long, dusty dirt road filled with ruts. We’d see nothing then a village would appear then we’d leave it quickly behind us.  The village nearest the monkeys was large, bigger than the others we had passed. We were driving to park the car when I saw one of the monkeys running behind the house. It was a Mona monkey, and they seem to come and go into the village at will. The monkeys come usually in the morning and early evening to eat but are more than happy when new bunches of gawkers appear with bananas in hand. The monkeys are not at all shy, and they stand up and spread out their arms to beg. We bought bananas and one of the critters grabbed it out of my hand. Grace, my student, offered to show me how to do it and the monkey grabbed her banana as well even before she was ready. With the second banana I held on and the monkey had to be satisfied with half and then half again. There were several around us by the time we started into the forest.

The woods were thick and so humid every pore in my body sweated. The guide stopped several times to show us trees and plants which were historically significant. including one called the giraffe tree. We kept going deeper into the forest to see the Colobus monkey, a larger shyer monkey than the Mona. We walk a long way until the guide noticed the long white tail of a Colobus.The monkey was sitting on a limb watching us. We kept walking but saw only four of these amazingly beautiful animals.

From there we walked to the monkey graveyard  where there are several graves marked with the sexes of the monkeys and their death dates. Two humans are buried there also, both fetish priests to the monkeys.

According to the guide, the Colobus monkeys will make a huge racket late at night if there is something going to happen. He said the fetish priests could understand what the monkeys meant and would interpret. The monkeys still make the racket but no one can understand anymore.

When we left, I was soaked as if it had been raining. The air conditioning in the car was wonderful.

I have so many more things to tell you about the last few days but it will have to wait until I am home. I leave tomorrow night at 10:10 on the Delta flight.

I’ll see you on Tuesday!

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

May 31, 2012

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.

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