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The Bush Baby a unique pet

Updated on August 23, 2017

Meet Pookie Nyoni!

Now here is a little bush babe which I have no doubt everybody is going to fall in love with. Those adorable eyes. Who wouldn't? Everybody loves a baby. In actual fact that is an adult and it's a mammal too. Head-wise, one might think it's a cat or perchance, a lovely little mouse. Body-wise, one may think it's a kangaroo? It's nothing of the sort, but it does have some similarities.

A species generally found in East Africa, but also in many other parts. It's nocturnal, mainly due to protect itself from predators. Normally they are found in semi-arid areas under 6500 feet.

I went to school in such a place, tucked away on the most southern border of Zimbabwe in a province known as Matabeleland. It was a tough province and an even tougher school. One went there at the beginning of any school term and one stayed there for that length of time without a break to see your family. Unless one got into a sports team, that was it. Understandably then, as boys we learnt how to roam the tough, tough sands of Matabeleland and it's many thorn trees battling to survive in a low rainfall area.

As boys, nay kids, perchance we missed our parents? The only thing we had left, was to find a pet in this tough place and nurture it as best we could. Here then is one of the most loveable and adorable pets, a boy could wish to find.

Image from Inherently Funny

spook
spook

Who is Kevin Moor

It's just Spook.

I led a normal happy life and had a wonderful schooling full of great teachers and interesting boys and friends. Aye, we were lads once and what a bunch of lads we were. Reasonably intelligent and reasonably gifted at sports including, cricket, tennis, hockey and medium distance running. The thing about us lads is; we just couldn't help teasing each other and some took this better than others, and everybody had a nickname. Mine started with rickets ( I hated that one ) but luckily that didn't last and was changed to bones. It should be perfectly obvious, that I was a very fine physical specimen. No amount of weightlifting made any difference and I soon gave up. By form 4, I was known as Spook and this nickname has stuck throughout my life. I loved it.

On leaving school I went to do my National Service in the Rhodesian army. Whilst doing this I became deaf. I've written many stories here on Squidoo about that and many other aspects of my life, so am not going to repeat them here. But I am thankful to Squidoo for providing me with the voice to do this.

Lastly, the photo is none other than myself, slightly soured by age and a hectic life. I'm a bit like the bush baby. Oh, what beautiful eyes or they used to be.

Lastly, lastly, ah, when Irish eyes are smiling, sure the whole world smiles with you.

pookie nyoni
pookie nyoni

Finding pookie nyoni

The African bush

You have to realise that everybodys' tastes are different. Lots of different boys, so many different tastes. Owls, Goshawks, Snakes, Rabbits, Chickens and the list was almost endless and indeed was. Tucked somewhere behind the house we lived in, was the pets room. As mentioned, anything went here and endless fights ensued. 'You stole my Owls mince meat for your hawk', 'your rabbit ate my pookies banana' and so on and so forth. However, the biggest danger always lay in some cat getting into the pet room. These loveable, furry little, adorable little, kitty cats, are in reality, predators. The best there is and nothing is sacred for them, nothing. It was like they were bullet proof and no matter how well you set up the security arrangements in the pet room, somehow they bypassed it. The solution was to get a 'new boy' to sit up all night and prevent this. Lord help him if he fell asleep.

Now the bush baby is nocturnal and it has developed this way to protect itself from predators especially snakes and hawks. It is an amazing creature and with it's hind legs can jump between 10 to 20 foot whilst stationary. This is the system it uses to catch its prey, mainly insects and it propels itself from tree to tree like this. It then uses its long, bushy tail, to grab a branch in case of overshoot. It is very fast like this and almost impossible to catch. However if one can get it onto the ground, it is very slow and catching it is a lot easier. Therein lies the secret.

Image from The Animal Healing Project

Pookie nyoni - Adorable

pookie
pookie

Well what do you think of pookie nyoni as a pet so far

See results
baby
baby

Pookie

Nyoni

To be quite honest I've forgotten how the bush baby got its name of pookie nyoni. However I'm going to give it a reasonable guess.

We always knew our pookies as pookies, everybody knows this. However I think it drew its name from the African dialect of the area. When going into attack mode, it flattens its ears which have acute hearing and launches itself. It can cover great distances like this and give the impression that it is flying. Hence nyoni, which simply means bird. Therefore the pookie that flies. How apt and how logical.

Amongst Afrikaans speaking people in South Africa it is known as nagapie. Nag meaning night and apie meaning ape. Or the night flying little monkey. Also how apt. So there you have it.

Image from Cat Salter

Nagapie - Pookie nyoni

I have already described the reason between two different names, so would like to ask readers.

Which name do you think suits it best?

pookie nyoni
pookie nyoni

Favourite times with pookie nyoni

Sleeping during the day

Now pookie nyoni is nocturnal, so he is awake during the night and asleep during the day. In captivity then, this makes his/her normal habits hard to fit in with yours. Consequently, as boys we used to take pookie with us to classes. Of course this was frowned upon by the authorities and not really allowed, so we had to make a plan.

The plan consisted of, tucking pookie into your shirt at about stomach level. They are small so we could get away with it. At first pookie used to bite, not really sore but a bite nevertheless. As time wore on and it became used to you, that soon stopped. I always loved carrying pookie like this and the feeling of his small hands as he shifted around in sleep was, exquisite.

Sometimes there was a problem. Part of their nature, mainly the women in their natural habitat, is to find groups of mothers and children and protect and socialise together. Sound familiar? The men of course keep to themselves and only surface when it is time to put the stork on the roof. Then of course they are welcome, otherwise, not. Now these lassies mark their territory by passing urine at certain strategic spots. It's innate. Pookie then, sometimes did pee pees in your shirt. Sis man, but you had to put up with it.

Image from African Wildlife Foundation.

The best fun with pookie nyoni

Catching grasshoppers to feed him

On the playing fields at school

Giving him exercise

As far away from trees as you can get, if he gets there you've lost him

Make sure there are two of you in case of trouble

Firstly search the sky for any signs of hawks

Have fun catching grasshoppers with pookie

Tuck your children into bed - With a pookie nyoni

Ty Beanie Babies Peepers - Bush Baby
Ty Beanie Babies Peepers - Bush Baby

Forget the teddy bear. Try something different for your 'little rascals' to go to sleep with. The lovely, adorable, pookie nyoni.

 

Pookie nyoni - His photo gallery, click on an image

Click thumbnail to view full-size
On a thorn treeCaught in the darkPlaying in captivityAh, so cuteIn the treesWho is your daddy?The two of usSpotting grasshoppersHaving dinnerWho me
On a thorn tree
On a thorn tree
Caught in the dark
Caught in the dark
Playing in captivity
Playing in captivity
Ah, so cute
Ah, so cute
In the trees
In the trees
Who is your daddy?
Who is your daddy?
The two of us
The two of us
Spotting grasshoppers
Spotting grasshoppers
Having dinner
Having dinner
Who me
Who me
nagapie
nagapie

Pookies

Diet and diseases

The pookie nyoni is not that hard to feed. It mainly eats insects and grasshoppers and moths. Also loves a bit of fruit, so always easy to find it something to eat.

However our time with this wonderful pet was soon to be limited. The more man researches the cleverer he gets and this was finally to count against us. Veterinarians soon found that the pookie nyoni was most unusual in that it had the ability to switch diseases. Simply put from man to animal and vice versa. Subsequently it was decided that the risk was too great and boys were no longer allowed to keep them as pets. How sad.

This phenomenon was known as; Zoonoses.

Image from Animals of the Amazon.

Images courtesy of Google images.

Well what do you think of pookie? - Such an unique pet

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    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 4 years ago

      nice lens, well done

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Amazing and the best of luck with your story.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband tells stories of exactly the same experiences at school in Zim with 'pookies' as pets. I wanted to use the name Pookie for a character in a story and so checked that it was authentic on the internet. It led me to your site. The origin of the name could have come from the Ndebele impukunyani. A friend of mine had one that leapt around the lounge at night and if you were lucky would land on your head and sit there looking at the guests!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @pixiepot: Too cute for words,can,t help but regard them as very teddy bear-ish.An actress friend of mine in CT kept two,they had an open cage,and a large tea cosy they like to sleep in,occasionally when she drove to the cafe,one would snuggle in her anorak hood,emerging sometimes to blink at passing motorists.Love to have one.too old to go grasshopper hunting,will they eat alternative stuff from pet shop?

    • click2CYtoday profile image

      click2CYtoday 5 years ago

      My dad grew up in Zambia and had a bush baby for a pet. He absolutely loved it! Because they are nocturnal, the boys would take them to school with them during the day and let them sleep in their shirts and then at night they would jump around their rooms. Sounds like fun, too bad we can't have them here in the US!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      They are adorable.

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      antoniow 5 years ago

      Awesome lens, nicely done! Pookie is lovely! Squidlike

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      grega85 5 years ago

      It is very cute with those big eyes.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 5 years ago

      @Annamadagan: Delighted to hear that and even more delighted with the Angel dust. Thank you.

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      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      So cute! We learned all about these little guys in Science, and I really enjoyed learning more about them now! Nice lens, Blessed By A Squid Angel :)

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Much obliged.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That's magic man and thank you and sure is cute.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 5 years ago

      @jadehorseshoe: Beasties? Perish the thought (winks).

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      very cute and adorable, great lens

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Pookie is cute! Glad to stop by again with a blessing. :)

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Fine Looking Beasties.

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      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Cute little critters! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • joeldgreat profile image

      joeldgreat 6 years ago

      I think these animals were an endangered species. It would be fair enough not to take out them in the wild to be made as pets.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Just returning with a little angel blessing.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      I know some residents who look like pookies after working 24 hours on call. These are adorable creatures, I would worry about losing him or her (oh and the hawk thing, yikes). Unique for sure (do they leave pooh pellets around a great deal)?

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      These little guys are great. Cool lens!

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      gogolf162 6 years ago

      Interesting, but I do not think I would like as a pet.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Very nice lens, I love animal lens. Thanks

    • profile image

      pixiepot 6 years ago

      Aww, this is a fantastic and adorable lens. Well done

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @OhMe: Hi OhMe and thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @VladimirCat: Nope, we don't do rodents unfortunately and I'm so glad you visited and pray it has not whetted your appetite.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @VladimirCat: Thank you for your visit Vladi. Pookie insisted that I reply (trying to buy himself more time I guess) and says he is so thankful that you are house trained and keep up the great work on those rodents.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @CCGAL: I'm so glad you did and thank you.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Just dropping by to say Hi!

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 6 years ago from Australia

      Hmpph. If you can't get a cat I suppose a pookie is a fair enough substitute - although I'm house trained of course. Plus I keep the rodent population down - can a bush baby do that?

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 6 years ago from Australia

      I suppose if you can't get a cat you may as well get a pookie. I'm a nocturnal creature myself, I chomp on the odd grashopper, search the sky for hawks and enjoy sleeping with friends. Apart from my glorious ability at keeping the rodent population under control, I scarcely see the difference. In any case I may not be a bush baby, but I'm a house trained pet.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      I really had no idea what a bush baby was, other than a creature with large eyes, so this lens and your story of having one as a pet was incredibly interesting to me. I also didn't know that diseases could be passed from pookie to human or vice versa, so that was also a learning experience for me here. I enjoyed your story of pookie the pet very much.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Indeed it is.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @joanv334: Hello and thanks for visiting.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @Positivevibestechnician: Who wouldn't?

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: It's my pleasure.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: What could be luckier than that and thank you?

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: So do I and lekker slaap.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @kougar lm: My pleasure.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @greetingcardsinfo: Sure does, sure was.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @scss: Must have been fun and good for you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @paulalouw: I'm glad, lovely creatures.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @Michelle1959: Ah, when Irish eyes are smiling, sure the whole world smiles with you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Strange? It's beautiful.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      @M Schaut: Must be?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Really cute animal

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Hello, thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Positivevibestechnician 6 years ago

      very interesting little animal gotta love those eyes

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Your experience with this animal was very interesting. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Adding a blessing for luck on this St. Patrick's Day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Being afrikaans speaking I, too, prefer 'nagapie' We used to have two in our garden in Pretoria (Gauteng) but unfortunately we found the one dead on the verandah one morning. They are very shy and we only saw them by chance twice. I just hope the remaining one is safe.

    • kougar lm profile image

      kougar lm 6 years ago

      Such a cute little pet. Touching story. Thanks for sharing.

    • greetingcardsinfo profile image

      greetingcardsinfo 6 years ago

      I live in the UK I have never seen it before today reading your article it looks nice and friendly!!

    • profile image

      scss 6 years ago

      I'm one of the very few Australian cityslickers who had a little kangaroo joey for a pet for a while when we lived in the suburbs of Subiaco in West Aust.

      She was an incredible character, drank tea from a cup with a biscuit, had to be cuddled to sleep at night, she stole lollies from the coffee table canister and I got blamed for it as the second child in the house!

      Having a Native wildlife animal share your life is very special for sure, but we were responsible and requested that the Perth Zoo adopt her and give her a good life.

      Fond memories of Guru aka. UnaMamma

    • profile image

      paulalouw 6 years ago

      yes, i love these images too...they are beautiful! we have sometimes seen them in the wild... there are the fat tailed ones, and these. for years, don and i visited the soutpansberg, and stayed in bungalow with no electricity, and water that was brought to us each day. oh, we LOVED it there... sadly, in the 2000, or was it 2001(?) floods washed that little place away.

      the very first night we were there, (and went there often) as we sat out under a tree in the darkness, eating... we heard a sound in the tree above us. on shining the torch upward, what should we see, but an adorable little bushbaby!!

      it holds good and happy memories for me... thanks spookie :))x

    • Michelle1959 profile image

      Michelle1959 6 years ago

      Pookie is absolutely adorable - love the pictures too.

      I found this lens hilarious and enjoyed reading humour with fact and history for a change. Thanks for sharing it. Brings back stunning memories!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Those eyes and those ears make it very huggable looking. Kids sure find strange pets. I made a lens about the badger that my mother raised in her childhood.

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 6 years ago from Detroit

      I kind of see a similarity in their eyes and yours. Coincidence???

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What a fun story! Pookie is a real sweetie - thanks for sharing with us about him. =D

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Pookie is a real cutie.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      what a cool unique pet - thanks for sharing your "Pookie" story !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful and obviously a very personal story. Thanks for sharing

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 7 years ago

      Love it! This brought such a huge smile to my face, how can I not bless it?

    • profile image

      jgelien 7 years ago

      Who on earth could resist those big eyes? Really cute lens.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @AdriennePetersen: Who wouldn't and thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @capriliz lm: Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Thanks for everything you said.

    • MikeEssex profile image

      MikeEssex 7 years ago

      So cute. Those eyes would make you forgive anything.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @mysticmama lm: Thank you Bambi.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @randomethoughts: Have no idea hat a tarsier looks like anyway, but thanks for the comments.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @Missmerfaery444: Thank you kindly.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @Richard-H: Thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @rgasperson lm: No permit in those days but eventually they stopped us keeping them as explained. Thank you for your comment.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Groovy.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes they were lovely and thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you and I'm glad you noticed the beanie baby.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @tintin79: Don't watch many movies but thank you for your comment.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @Lee Hansen: You could be right and thank you for your comment and visit.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @TheAuntieM: Thank you for your visit and kind comment.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @WhiteOak50: I agree the eyes grab ya and thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @sheriangell: Many thanks for your kind words.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @eccles1: Thank you so much.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @LisaAuch1: Thank you Lisa.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @bhaveshmehta: Thank you very much.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @Jhangora LM: So do I.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @Jhangora LM: So do I.

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      Sojourn 7 years ago

      Been ages since I read a short line so intriguingly funny as "your rabbit ate my pookies banana"! Your story is touching and charming and funny and how could I have forgotten that it's always a pleasure to read one of your pieces??? Beautifully done. :)

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, it was a long time coming.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @The-Java-Gal: I agree and thanks for your comments.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @Airinka: Thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @mockingbird999: He sure is.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @happynutritionist: I'm glad you read every word and many thanks for your congratulations.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love this story Spook. You certainly do come up with some great ideas for your lenses!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      cute and love to have one :)

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @spritequeen lm: No longer live there, otherwise I would try to find you one.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @pylemountain1: Much obliged for your great comment and thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @puzzlerpaige: It sure was fun and thank you.

    • Spook LM profile image
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      Spook LM 7 years ago

      @delia-delia: Thank you so much for that.

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      baybee2010 7 years ago

      adorable. i have a capuchin monkey and was thinking of getting another 'exotic' defiantly going to reaserch these guys sounds like an absolute joy to have.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great lens, and I am sure that as a kid if I had the chance I might have wanted one of these, but they take a bit more looking after than I am prepared for at my time of life. Still one of the cutest animals on the planet though.