monkey see, monkey do

My blood comes from the southern part of Italy and “hot days” are in my DNA, but this was hot even for me. Vince had called me just a few days before and asked if I wanted to spend my reading week with him in Mexico. I got the call in London, Ontario, looked outside at the thick white blanket and said, “I’ll see you at your place in two days!” So there we were, a few days later, frolicking shirtless through a forest, somewhere in the Mayan Riviera.

After some scuba and cave swimming we decided to go for a walk through the forest/conservation area. Thousands of different coloured birds and hundreds of little monkeys playing in the trees. Vince ran off to go find us some water and I decided to have a seat and wait for him. In the shadow of the tree directly in front of me, was a small workstation which had a table, some pieces of wood, a bunch of tools and a sign which said, “Precaución” (Caution).

A few feet above the workstation I noticed something dangling. It was a monkey. While holding on to the branch by its tail it nervously looked around to see if anyone was watching its soon to be petty theft. After a few seconds it stretched out and grabbed the small saw that was sitting on top of the table. It then hoisted itself up and sat firmly on its branch.

Sitting on the far right of the branch there was only a foot separating the monkey from the trunk of the tree. Instinctively the monkey took its new toy and began sawing in the space between it and the trunk: the monkey was cutting the branch it was sitting on!

The branch wasn’t thick and it didn’t take long for the monkey to cut off the very thing that was keeping it supported. I was watching in amazement, thinking, “How could this thing be so stupid! It’s about to cut off the very thing it is sitting on!” All of a sudden, CRACK! The branch snapped and the monkey fell 8-9 feet and hit the ground… hard! It left the saw, and immediately ran up the tree, only to find that it had destroyed its stoop, its branch, its home.

The monkey had a safe place. A place to scope things out and a place to rest comfortably. But now, the branch is broken. The monkey cut it off from the rest of the tree. Maybe you’re thinking, “what a stupid animal”, but as they say, monkey see, monkey do.

To Be Continued.

Categories: culture, Existential Ideas


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