Thursday, November 12, 2009


Hope is good, though not as good as potatoes. Anyway, I think I'm getting better at this. Yesterday morning I was doing something in the kitchen when I happened to look out the big window and saw, beyond the cord of firewood, the head of a monkey. In a familiar landscape, random monkey heads sort of jump out at you.

I instantly deduced that the monkey wasn't hanging out on the other side of the woodpile like a teenager at the mall, but was in the vegetable garden. I knew this because on the monkey head was a monkey face and on that face was a monkey mouth, and in that mouth was not a monkey potato, but a Brady potato. Monkeys are too dumb to grow potatoes.

At that point I ran out and threw a smartstone at the instantly distant monkeys. There were three I could see now, where they stopped to pause and look back upon their thieving past (to ponder and perhaps begin to repent their evil ways, turn upon a righteous path, now there's a laugh, though some of our species have allegedly managed to do it), two females and a troublesome youngster they were welcome to.

I went out to the garden to assess the damage and found that only one beast had gotten a potato; the others had been distracted by the leftover and finally reddened tomatoes I'd left hanging from the fence netting for just that purpose, and it had worked: two of the three brigands had opted for the right-there easy and old tomatoes, rather than the underground dirt-covered maybe potatoes, onions or carrots. That little margin of extra time and monkeybelly fullness, plus my increasingly acute sensitivity regarding simian proximity - I like to think of it as a sort of monkey radar - had enabled my prompt response in chasing them off.

As I watched them watching me from across the road, though, it occurred to me that although I might offhandedly think that monkeys are too stupid to grow potatoes, it may be that, since they can have my potatoes even when I'm home, they may in fact simply be not dumb enough to need to grow potatoes, and they know it. There's always that unsettling quality in their eyes, when they look back from a distance beyond reach of my mere stones, their cheeks stuffed with one of my big new potatoes.

The course of true evolution does not run smooth.


Anonymous said...

Oh man, it makes me so mad to see a mini-herd of 6 deer, some with antlers, freely sampling from among the CA fuchsia, buckwheat, manzanita and ceanothus that I've obviously planted, watered with 1000-dollar drip irrigation system, tended and mulched just for THEM. Yes, they will run off when chased and yelled at, but then they pause, they turn and look. Their look says "OK for now, lady. But we know you will go read your computer or shut your eyes or something. Then, it's MINE ALL MINE." And their little white rumps are SO impertinent. --Diana

R. Brady said...

And they stand there wondering why those humans are so mad-- don't they know this is all our stuff?