Monkeying around

28 July 2012 § 1 Comment

28 July

The account of the Great Monkey Attack.  Warning: this post includes inappropriate details.

I had been writing on the verandah but went inside for a bit, and it was so hot that I stripped to my undergarments.  I heard monkeys on the roof and then saw one in a nearby tree, so I collected my books and ink from the table outside and locked the door, which we had been directed to keep closed always.  The monkey then appeared in the window; our faces were close and divided only by the thin wire lattice across the window.  After the moment of recognition, of wide-eyed observation followed by my noting of the cunning in his eyes, I rummaged in my bag for my camera, for he was close and still and so ready to be photographed.  He took advantage of my distraction to jump to the place where the wall met the roof and slipped in through a tiny gap.

A rhesus macaque—scheming, no doubt

Suddenly he was inside, and I remembered that the bread and the peanut butter were still inside from Erin and Kathryne’s breakfast; the scent of them must have attracted him.  I snatched my raincoat so that I could have something with which to chase him away, but then he seemed to adopt the idea that there was something worth stealing in the raincoat since it perhaps appeared as though I were protecting it, and he leapt here and there and flailed his arms at me and then spitefully excreted onto the floor from his perch upon one of the ropes that spans the length of the room and upon which our clothes and towels are hung.

This is actually a vervet monkey, but they also populate Mombasa

He effectively blocked my passage to the door, through which I desired to escape in order to fetch a sling shot from the main treehouse.  We had been battling for about ten minutes.  I had the additional problem of still wearing nothing save a few wisps of material, in which I could scarcely fetch anything with other people (all boys, between the workers and a Brit and an Iranian playing their instruments) around.  I quickly grabbed my clothes, barricaded myself in the bathroom—which was mostly open space, so the monkey could easily have hopped round and ambushed me—and slipped into them, and then managed to pass him, run out the door, and walk down the path.

Before I found a slingshot, I found a worker, who accompanied me back to the bungalow with his slingshot.  The monkey was having a stolen feast of dry bread on the table of our verandah and scampered off when he saw us.  I was not sorry to have to rid our party of that bread, it was inedible probably even with peanut butter and quite ready to be used for bread pudding.  He left the peanut butter untouched, so I took it to the tree house and locked it in our box, but not before I stepped in that cursed monkey’s mess because of the dark—I had not turned on the light.  I cleaned that and my feet, a bit disgruntled but mostly laughing at myself.  I packed my things into my bag, locked the bungalow, and threw the key away.

Only joking—I took my bag to the tree house and recorded the story in my journal.

I took this photograph in Kijabe a few days ago

P. S.  Happy Anniversary to my dear parents!  And Happy Birthday to a certain beloved aunt!  The festivities continue . . .


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