Monkey season has begun

Monkey season arrived in its typically noisy fashion a couple mornings ago. This fact was announced around sunrise with the baying of dogs. Cursing my hounds and any other living creature willing to demand my attention before I’ve had my first cup of tea, I struggled out of bed.

Muttering to myself, I opened the curtains and came face-to-face with a vervet monkey.

Far below, my dogs were hurling themselves at the wall as if they really thought they might have a chance at reaching the grayish-brown primate. Unfazed by the ruckus it was creating, the monkey remained on the roof, staring at me and scratching behind its ears.

Growling, I opened the window and told it to get off my house, although I might have used slightly (ahem) stronger and more creative vocabulary. Despite our language barrier, it understood and casually hopped onto a tree and clambered away.

As I did the only sane thing left to me — put the kettle on and fast — I reflected on why a monkey and its companions were on my roof. It is the beginning of the hot, dry season, so maybe they were thirsty (we have a stream flowing through our backyard).

Or perhaps they could smell the bananas ripening (we have a wild banana plantation near the stream). Or maybe they heard it’s healthy to diversify one’s diet, so they were eyeing our avocado and papaya trees.

Whatever the reason, they’re out there right now, converging on our little paradise. Earlier today, one of them played Catch the Monkey with my dogs. Except monkeys are too smart and my dogs can’t climb trees, so the winner of that game is a forgone conclusion.

At one point, as the monkey bounced from tree to tree, my dogs hurtled over a retaining wall in my garden. I waited for the howl of agony or yelp of pain but nope. No broken bones or sprained doggy ankles. Don’t worry — the dogs are fine. My garden… not so much.

After recovering from falling several feet, the dogs bounced up and continued their attempts to climb trees. They haven’t stopped barking since; nor have all the other dogs up and down the valley.

I’m investing in a set of noise-blocking earphones.

Any animal stories from your side? Let me know and I’ll post them on my website under the appropriate title of “Pests we love… or not”.


Vered “I don’t like monkeys” Ehsani

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