Adventures in Costa Rica
My husband Thomas and I were married July 16, 1995 and with Hawaii already being our home, we agreed Costa Rica would be a great place to explore and spend our honeymoon. We enjoyed eleven days there, stayed at various places, yet my memory is not conjuring up the name of each place we enjoyed lodging. I do remember well all our adventures so allow me to share about the encounter with the squirrel monkey (we so wish we had a camcorder to capture this experience!).
After breakfast one morning and almost ready to begin our excursion for the day, Thomas went back to our room to retrieve a few necessary items while I intended to make our way to our rental vehicle, a Suzuki Sidekick. I noticed a squirrel monkey wearing a harness and a leash. The leash was affixed to a cable or “runner,” with each end being secured to a steadfast object. Of course being the animal lover that I am, I had to go and see this cute little creature and see if I could befriend it. I’d only seen monkeys at the zoo or wildlife parks before; this was an opportunity for an unsupervised face-to-face encounter and I was hoping to be able to pet this sweet small primate. I’m going to assume it was a female and refer to her as “Squirrely.”
I suppose monkeys must naturally be curious critters since Squirrely didn’t seem the least bit cautious about me. I had my car keys in my hand and she approached me. I squatted down and talked to her, much like I would any other docile animal. What a cute little face she had and such a quizzical expression!
Then I discovered what Squirrely was really interested in and it wasn't in becoming my friend - it was the car keys! I opened my hand and Squirrely quickly snatched the keys and put some distance between us! Good thing she wasn’t loose and there weren’t any tall trees she could access -even from that runner - as I would have kissed those keys goodbye! The car rental people in San Jose (we were probably at least 3 hours away) would have had justifiable cause to charge us way more than what we bargained for!
I knew I had to get the keys back. This was about the time Thomas caught up to me, to discover me bent over at the waist, with my waist-length blonde hair flipped over my head, rolling this creature around on the ground, this way and that. Squirrely was not going to give up the keys easily and she was making a great deal of noise, voicing her displeasure as if to say, “No, No, No, Mine, Mine, Mine! Leave Me Alone!” I was finally able to un-pry the keys from her grasp. Before I could stand up erect and put the prize in my pocket, Squirrely lunged at me and had clamped on to my hair, biting my tresses! I guess I should be glad it wasn’t my nose since other than feeling some weight, I didn’t feel anything else! She held on only for a handful of seconds anyway before scurrying away.
Her handler came to her rescue since right after Squirrely let go of me and was moving off to go sulk, she was in the arms and on the hip of a woman who would console her. This handler didn’t say anything, but her body language very much "harrumphed" at us. Live and learn. I now know exotic birds aren’t the only creatures attracted to shiny objects.