A True Story For Joshua, Jordan and Grady
One day, a boo-lay couple (for that is what foreigners are called in Bali) decided to go to the beach. After packing their backpack and applying sunscreen, they drove to the stone steps next to the temple. They locked their helmets to their motorcycle, walked up to the steps and looked up to see…. a little monkey sitting in the tree.
They looked all around for other monkeys; for they never travel alone. but this one was. He sat in the tree and chattered at them and they noticed a frayed collar around his neck. After saying hello, the couple started down the steep steps to the beach and the little monkey followed them. From tree to tree and step to step, all the way to the beach. The lady started to call to him and held out her hand but the man stopped her because he didn’t think it was safe.
It was low tide on the beach and the couple began to explore the shore and the caves along the way. The little monkey followed them onto the sand and climbed the rocks around the caves. Never getting too close, but never too far away either. “That’s odd,” said the man. “Maybe he’s hungry.” The man found some snails in the caves and cracked them open before tossing them to the monkey. The monkey was not interested,
“Take my picture?” the lady asked and gave the man the camera. He walked into a big cave and took a few pictures of her while the monkey sat watching. The lady sat outside on a rock to watch the water and the man watched as the monkey began to come closer and closer to the lady. He played with the straps of her backpack and patted her foot and she began to talk to him. The little monkey began to talk back, chattering away as he came nearer and near to her until he jumped up on the rock next to her.
“What are you doing here little one?” she asked as the monkey sat closer to her leg and picked grains of sand off her skin. Her voice was soft and comforting to the little monkey and soon he had jumped into her lap! “Where did you come from little guy,” she asked. “Did you escape from someone?” The monkey could not answer, but snuggled close to her and continued to talk to her as they sat on the beach. He seemed quite relaxed in her lap. “Can I pet your fur?” she asked and gently brought one hand up for the monkey to see. Slowly she moved it closer to him until she was stroking his shoulder and side.
The man was watching and taking pictures and video when two young men walked around the corner and startled the monkey. He stood up on his hind legs and screeched at them. They stopped and asked if it was her monkey. “No,” she replied,”but I may be his human. At least for right now.” The men quickly walked past and her man continued to watch and take pictures and videos. “I wonder if he’s hungry,” he said. “I don’t know what they eat.” “Maybe we should go up and get him something to eat.” “OK.” said the lady and when she stood up the little monkey immediately climbed up to her head and found her earrings. “Oh now, we’ll have none of that,” she laughed as she removed the earrings.
The little guy sneezed as they were walking back and she; startled, dropped him. He shook his head, climbed a near rock and jumped back onto her arm. “All right little boy, lets go,” she said and they began to walk back to the long, steep stairs. They passed local women walking on the beach that looked curiously at them but the monkey didn’t screech again until it saw the two young men returning. “I think he likes women,”she said. “I think he likes you,” the man replied.
The man was much quicker climbing the stairs than the lady and by the time she reached the top with the little monkey, the man was gone. The monkey had slept in her arm the whole way up which was funny. They sat on a bale near the top of the steps and waited for the man to return. When he did, he brought dried peas, and peanuts and crackers. The little boy sniffed the peas and dropped them. He didn’t seem interested in the peanuts or crackers either. “Maybe he doesn’t eat solid food,” the lady said and crunched up a cracker in her mouth before spitting it into her palm and giving it to him. The monkey looked up at her with his big brown eyes before grabbing some of the softened food in her palm and trying it before flicking the rest of the food away onto her pants. “I don’t think he likes it.” she said. “I don’t blame him,”said the man after he tried one , “these crackers aren’t actually very good.”
So the good man got on his motorbike again and left to get something else for the little monkey. As soon as he was gone, the little boy jumped off her lap and hopped over to some young green plants growing by the side of the stairs. To her surprise, he grabbed a branch and began stripping the branches of leaves with his mouth before munching away. “Is that what you eat?” she said. “I hope you’re not full by the time he gets back.” The little monkey eat for a bit before coming back. He played on her lap, twisting around her arm and softly biting her hand as he practiced being a monkey. When he would start to bite too hard she would exclaim, “no!” That seemed to do the trick. He fell asleep again for a short time before the man returned.
This time the man had fruit, watermelon, honeydew and papaya. The little monkey ran over to the nice man and took a piece of watermelon which he began cramming into his mouth, “Look,” said the man “you can see his cheeks getting bigger as he packs in the fruit.” The little boy would fill his cheeks up with fruit and then push them in with his hands and swallow before starting all over again. He ate all the watermelon and he loved the papaya, but rejected the honeydew.
“What are we going to do with him?” the lady asked. “We can’t take him with us. He’d wreck the place and get us thrown out of our hotel room.” “Maybe the temple monkeys will take him,” the man said. “They live close by. I think we just need to leave him here.” The lady and the man agreed but were worried about the collar around his neck. What happens if he grows and does go live with the temple monkeys? He could choke, they thought. So the good man, the very good man, got on his motorcycle a third time and went in search of a knife or scissors to cut the collar off. The little monkey finished all the fruit and returned to playing with the lady and bringing her bits of trash from around the bale which she would try and rescue from his mouth. “I wish we could take you with us,” she said to the little monkey “but if you were left here by someone for a reason, it’s probably better you go back to the wild.”
The very good man returned with scissors and a knife which he gave to the lady. The lady waited until the monkey had settled down and then quickly snipped the collar off his neck. “There. That’s all we can do,” she said. The lady and the man sat on the bale for another hour, watching the monkey as he played.He would look back every so often as if to make sure they were still there. The little boy even got comfortable enough with the man to climb his arm. The lady took a picture.
When it was time to go they quickly put on their helmets and the man started the motorbike. “We gotta go quick before he tries to come with us,” he said. The lady jumped on and and as they began to drive away, the monkey began to run behind them. “Faster,” she yelled into the wind “he’s right behind us.” To the monkey she yelled,”goodbye little boy. Hopefully, we’ll see you tomorrow.”
They did go back the next day and many days after that, but they never saw the little monkey again. They looked whenever they saw the temple monkeys and she feed them peanuts every time she visited but never again did a little boy monkey follow them down the steps looking for company. The boo-lay couple was sad but happy too in the hopes that he joined a monkey troupe and they kept his cut collar to remind them of their friend.