the monkey whisperers

22 Jul

The monkey story began with intrigue, speculation and a slap in the face. After ‘the slap’, we grew agitated with the monkey and would yell at it from the breezeway as we walked from the dining area to our rooms. The monkey still seemed a bit scared and would raise her eyes and open her mouth while lunging at us whenever we went outside. A couple of days into the taunting, Adam showed a sign of peace and offered the monkey a Skittle. I had no idea why he would do such a thing but I watched with delight as the monkey chewed on that little piece of processed sugar and didn’t lunge at him. Adam simply tossed the skittle into the circle near the tree, watched the monkey eat, and walked away. We grew increasingly fascinated with the joy of watching the monkey eat Skittles, Starburst, or Tootsie Rolls. The monkey became confused and we think she started to ponder our intentions. ‘Do they or do they not want to threaten me?’

A few minutes a day of tossing food (not just processed food) to the monkey, and Adam started to encourage me to try and hand the monkey some food.

We were still frightened by the monkey as she constantly seemed volatile. One moment she would be taking food from our hand and the next moment she would be jumping at us again. She grew especially agitated with a female present.

But with time and coaching from Chini and Aiden we mustered up the courage to get close enough to the monkey to maybe even touch her. In order to calm the monkey we found we had to walk with her as she paced and make a clicking/kissing noise with our mouths. This was particularly funny to watch because we would also pick through our own hair to show her, we were like her.

Sometimes we felt like National Geographic photographers who had spent time observing the animal and thought we understood her movements. Sometimes we felt like idiots who were trying to touch a wild monkey that had consistently tried to attack us.

So on the last day of our time in Nalerigu, Aiden again showed us we had nothing to fear by bending over and allowing the monkey to pick and bite through his hair.

I was standing there watching and Aiden quickly said, “She wants to pick through the hairs on your leg.” I thought, “Are you serious?” But with trepidation and fear, I stuck my leg out and sure enough she started picking through the hairs on my leg!

We gained so much confidence at this point and the monkey seemed to be in a very good mood. So we took our chances, started making the noises again, and she laid down for us to go through her hair!

I even had the audacity to show the local kids, who were attempting to calm to monkey, my new-found courage.

3 Responses to “the monkey whisperers”

  1. carl & Elaine Baldridge July 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    We expect you two whisperers to be in Phoenix to calm the 2 wild goats, the sheep and any feral cats that roam the area! Love your stories. Mom and Dad B

  2. Karen Tucker July 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    And we’ll need your services as horse whisperers when you get home as well – boy, you two are going to be busy – animal whisperers and construction – quite a combo!


  3. Caleb July 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Hooray! Diplomacy wins!

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