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My Pet Monkeys
Monkeys at Boarding School
Ever since I made friends with the monkeys that raided the guava trees in boarding school and performed acrobatic feats in our dormitory, I wanted to have a pet monkey.
Here, allow me to tell you a little about my days in boarding school.
Every weekend the monkeys would visit without fail and I would sit on the terrace and offer them peanuts. Oh there were times when a couple of them got so demanding they showed me their long yellow canines and scared the # @@@&&%!!! out of me, but they were pretty decent otherwise. They would hold my hand and pick the peanuts off gently while my fellow boarders watched breathlessly. In Benares, the city of monkeys, I tried to get close to a monkey carrying a baby on her back and was rudely bitten and had to take rabies shots – all 15 of them in the tummy. Still, I always wanted a pet monkey. The creatures fascinated me with their human ways and I wanted to know whether they really were our ancestors.
Friendly Monkeys in Bangalore City
Three years ago, my dreams were answered and a year later, answered again. First a baby monkey got attracted to me even though I didn’t have peanuts, but was simply strolling down M.G. Road and I took him to our farm. I named him Punkie because he had punk hair standing on end. Next a pretty grown up female monkey landed up in hubby’s workshop and he brought her to the farm too. I called her Salome. Don’t ask me why. But first, for Punkie.
Punkie was a delightful monkey and I would climb with him to the tree house and he would sit on top of me while the bees hummed around us (these bees don’t bite, or I wouldn’t have been up there). He was very much like a newborn baby. I would tickle him and cuddle him and he would chatter and show me his little teeth in what I believed was laughter and glee. It was.
We kept Punkie in a large cage because the dogs would chomp him up if they could get at him and as he grew older, the cuddling stopped. What if he bit me? He had almost pulled out a monkey fistful of my hair once and when I scolded him for it, he got really mad at me and showed me his grown up canines and I knew he wasn’t saying polite things to me. I did some analysing and gathered that he’d got hold of my hair in the friendly gesture of grooming monkeys show to each other. He probably thought I had lice or something, or that I was his strange looking mother.
And as Punkie grew on, he became stranger. He began to show me his ass and would grab my hand and try to put it you know where. I was rather shocked by that and hoped that monkeys weren’t our ancestors after all. I mean, did Punkie think I was his mother or what?
The Ladylike Monkey Salome
When Salome came along, I was relieved thinking that now Punkie wouldn’t be lonely any more, but he wasn’t exactly welcoming to her. He would steal her bananas after eating his and scratch her on her face. Salome of course, did no strange things like showing me her ass. She was a lady and never really fought with Punkie who was turning out to be a real punk in his rough and rude ways. She would never try to grab hold of my hand either when I thrust it through the cage to stroke her.
Pet Monkeys Released in the Wild
But I was aware that monkeys belong to trees and decided to release them with the help of CUPA – Compassion Unlimited Plus Action in the reserve forests near Bannerghatta National Park. We were afraid they might get mauled by other monkeys or not know how to fend for themselves in the wild.
I hear that they’re happy enough grabbing bananas from visitors to the Park, but they don’t bite. Punkie did return to cause a lot of havoc on the farm, breaking off branches of trees and almost getting electrocuted when he swung from the electric cables overhead, but the dogs chased him away. Poor Punkie. I couldn’t have turned him away when he came to me on M.G. Road and clung to my legs, could I?