Friday, July 09, 2010


ONE LESS FOR THE MONKEYS


As if those events weren't enough for one day, home alone after the morning described in The Approach of the Weedwhackers, and after I had later in the morning chased the monkeys out of the garden because the chain alarm sounded as described in The Me Squad, as I was even later trying once more to get some work done in the loft I heard a loud CR-R-RACK! and a leafy thrashing that could only have been caused by a newbie in the plum tree - young monkeys nowadays, I'm telling you... why, when I first moved here, even the youngest monkeys could climb, but ever since they've gotten used to the cushier modern lifestyle - o yeah, the plum tree... so for the third time that day I ran downstairs, this time toward the big glass doors, through which I could see a plum-filled monkey - the project supervisor - sitting on the rail of the deck picking his fangs with a pinkynail, savoring the flavor of my nearly ripe plums in a distant attitude that reminded me of a wine gourmet I once knew, until the ape heard the sound of my feet, turned, spotted me through the screen and took off redtailed, screeching to warn his crew still operating in the branches "The guy who has a thing for these plums is coming, so take off, now!"

The newbie crew in the tree itself, one of whom had snapped the branch, were not used to being chased by humans at such close range; they were but clouds of leaves whirling in the heart of the tree as they made for the exit and hit the ground running, also redtailed, the supervisor ahead of them looking back redfaced over his shoulder at me (redfaced and shaking my fist), to see if I was seriously in pursuit (a common concern among thieves of all species). I noticed that under his arm he was carrying a good cache of plums for later; unlike the empty-pawed newbies, he had anticipated a rousting. I also noticed that while supervising the hairy work force, he had eaten his take of plums fastidiously and not thrown the leftovers here and there, as one might expect a wild and unmannered monkey to do; rather, he had left a pile of peels and pits laid out along the railing in a sort of spontaneous natural nyah-nyah...

But although the monkeys had gotten a few of my plums, because I had reacted quickly most of the fruits remained on the tree and outside monkeys, so "One less for the monkeys..." became my loud mantra for each plum I picked on the spot as I walked around and beneath the tree, climbing the ladder in the hot and humid afternoon, plumbing the leafy reaches, squinting upward among the green-plum-colored and shaped underleaves, looking for orbs that might be barely tinting red but still indistinct against the glare, using my extended branch cutter when I couldn't reach high enough. I intoned "One less for the monkeys" at least a few dozen times, so the pickings were pretty good. I'll enjoy those purple goodnesses over there, by the big kitchen window.

You'd think that by now, after 15 years here with a garden and over 5 with a producing plum tree, I'd have known instinctively (how long does it take to acquire an instinct?) that after such extended rain and inactivity the monkeys would be hungry and out in force, coming for their vig-- and preempt them 100%, finally get to see a mob of monkeys nowhere near my plum tree, looking at me with respect. Maybe some day. For now, my dawning hope is that they acquire even more of a modern, processed lifestyle, maybe get a thing for couches and junk food, develop an aversion to fresh fruits and vegetables...

But I'd never stoop so low as to leave out a bunch of jumbo bags of potato chips...

2 comments:

bob said...

I was wondering whether a large dog could serve as a monkey deterrent with any sort of efficiency.

Ours makes for a pretty good possum and raccoon zapper, but then again, those critters don't travel in packs and stick up for each other, either.

R. Brady said...

You never can tell. Our nearest neighbor has a big savage-looking German shepherd who's a real marshmallow when it comes to monkeys. He enjoys their visits to his master's garden, likes to see the brigands have a good time, watches them move about in rapine with a big smile on his face. And some monkeys really like dogs, as mentioned in an earlier post of mine from a few years ago:
NON-SEQUEL TO THE MONKEY THAT WASN'T ACTUALLY CHASING THE WOMAN WITH THE DOG STORY