Each day in March, I’m participating in the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. ou can visit their site here. This is my slice for Day 16.
The sign stated “Don’t feed the animals.”
But geez! Those tiny little monkeys were so gosh darn cute, and most of the zoo visitors were tossing popcorn their way, so what difference would it make if I threw a few kernels in? So I joined the crowd, and began indiscriminately flicking pieces of popcorn through the bars to the barrel of monkeys within.
It soon became apparent that the older monkeys had no intention of sharing the popcorn with their younger cell mates. I specifically noticed that the runt of the litter, a little monkey less than 18″ tall, was constantly shut out of the popcorn booty. His black-pearl eyes and forlorn expression called out to me.
With only a few kernels remaining in my bag, I signaled for the little guy to move over to the corner of the pen, away from his older, larger, and stronger competitors. Each of us snuck to the other end, and I was able to successfully throw a couple pieces to him.
The last two kernels that I tossed fell short of the diminutive monkey’s reach, and landed in the bushes lining the front of the cage. He strained his little arms through the bars, crying out in hunger for the tantalizing morsels. Heroically, I stretched over the barrier that divided zoo visitors from zoo residents, in order to satisfy the little monkey’s hunger and spare him any more agony.
As each of our arms extended into the gap, the pain in my outstretched shoulder was soon overwhelmed by a searing sensation on my scalp. Immediately I realized that the little bugger was no longer grabbing for popcorn, but had latched on to a size-able portion of my hairline!
Shouts of laughter filled the air as both amused patrons and the collection of monkeys shared the jocular moment.
That miniature monkey still haunts my dreams.