The monkey family of four comes over for lunch around noon. They take the same route every day and jump over the gate at about the same time. The older monkeys lie on the grass and take in some sun. The younger ones play on the swing set in the lawn. They eat the old bread left for them on the roof, and if still hungry, dig up the potatoes and other root vegetables growing in the back. Yesterday, they dared to find my half eaten sugarcane left in the backyard. Their teeth apparently are much stronger than mine.
The mother and father have the same worried impression as most parents have when their kids don’t stay still. The little ones ( one of whom is without an arm) smile, play and run around. I think they might even shake my hand, if the older ones weren’t keeping guard. You can see it in the parent’s hungry eyes that they don’t like humans, as much as they depends on them.
Humans in turn aren’t kind to them for good reason. The monkeys run away with clothes from the clothes line, eat their fruit or throw open the trash on the street in search of food. There isn’t much of a jungle left to send them to and they just seem too human in how they look and act to be petted. I think if they weren’t afraid, they might follow me inside the house one day – might learn to open the fridge, might learn to switch on the television, might learn to lie on the bed. All such exciting thoughts!
Yet, I don’t know if it’s such a good idea to leave my parents with four such permanent guests. You see, I have been told that in polite society guests invited for lunch shouldn’t stay longer than 4 PM.
It’s almost noon here and the monkeys are coming 🙂