Sweet Monkey Love

Spider monkeys… one fell in love with my mother once – at the Catskill Game Farm when I was about 12. He remembered her the next few times we went back and held her hand through the bars for hour. It was kind of sweet. And kind of sad. And kind of icky. I wonder if he was attracted to the abundant Tabu fragrance she always wore.

I spied these two on a trip to the Auckland Zoo, basking in some lazy afterglow: so comfortable with each other, it seemed like they must be mates for life.

Published by Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

5 thoughts on “Sweet Monkey Love

  1. Animals are so sensitive. Many let memory determine their response. There must have been a woman who was very kind to that monkey and your mother had something similar to her. Who knows…it may have been Tabu!


    1. Undisclosed prior fact: we had a pet monkey for several years, a squirrel monkey. My mother and he had an extraordinary attachment for each other. He used to sleep in her hair. When he died, she bought another, but I think it had some kind of disease and died soon after we got it. She never had another and always missed Peanut… so perhaps there was a bit more going on both ways…

      Oddly I have developed an attachment to monkeys in recent years. Which makes me wonder just what kind of codes and memories are stored in our genes…


  2. I think that so many of us are attracted to monkeys because they have such sentient faces, expressions to which we can relate. I am always reminded of the heart-breaking quote by Amy Hempel:

    “ I think of the chimp, the one with the talking hands.
    In the course of the experiment, that chimp had a baby. Imagine how her trainers must have thrilled when the mother, without prompting, began to sign her newborn.
    Baby, drink milk.
    Baby, play ball.
    And when the baby died, the mother stood over the body, her wrinkled hands moving with animal grace, forming again and again the words: Baby, come hug, Baby come hug, fluent now in the language of grief.”

    Sorry to be a downer, but you know where my mind is, and this particular quote has always slain me.


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