Saturday, July 20, 2002


Monkey Picnic

Speaking of predations, I woke up several times predawn on Saturday to the incessant barking of the neighbor dogs up the mountain, couldn't figure out what could keep them barking so, people usually just pass by on the road and the dogs stop barking eventually, but this went on and on. Then around dawn I heard thumping on the roof and I knew it wasn't people, or bears or boars or deer (till December anyway), then the louder thumping on the toolshed roof, then again in multiples, so I elbowed my way out of sleep and squinted into the dim dawn light and never saw so many monkeys in my garden in my life, the scene was a morning monkey picnic and all-around party for young and old simians alike, a general free-for-all fresh garden produce bash catered by the guy in the bed, the kind of outdoor banquet they used to have in the old days when people gave everything they had to the monkeys and just starved to death, the larger monkeys feasting on my tasty green tomatoes and tender young carrots, the smaller monkeys just having a ball among the beans and squashes and caroming from tree to tree in the perfumed silence of the morning mist, not a party pooper around. I hated to put a stop the festivities, but I knew the simians had no cash, and not the slightest inkling what a bill was. So I hissed out the window through the screen and a couple of monkeys paused and looked wonderingly in my direction at what the hell is that irritating noise, they had obviously never been to the theater, knew nothing of villains, or the part they were playing in this little morning drama that was about to develop further when I stepped out onto the misty deck in my underwear, playing the part of a pale furless tailless monkey prancing and ranting and growling and gesturing as if he owned the place, when of course it is the de facto monkeys who have been here for many millions of years. As the red-faced beasts melted grumblingly away into the forest, they looked like they couldn't believe I thought these were my tomatoes, my carrots. Of all things. "Did you see that guy? Unbelievable," they chirped to one another in the treetops on their way to the next garden. "D'ja see what he was wearing?"

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