EVEN APES FIGHT FOR IT
Rob Wagner’s Script Magazine – February
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
The sunlight, filtering through the trees, mottled
the floor of the forest. Usha, the wind, whispering through the foliage
of the patriarchs of the jungle, set them to gossiping – breathing softly
the peace and the beauty of Nature primeval, undefiled by man, the Devil’s
coup de maitre.
The tribe of Um-gah, the king ape, lazed in the
soft warmth of the drowsy, equatorial afternoon. The little balus romped
and played among the lower branches while their mothers searched for caterpillars
among gorgeous orchid vines or dug grubs and other tidbits from rotting
All was peace. Neither Sheeta, the leopard, nor
Numa, the lion, threatened the harmony of this idyllic scene. Only great
Tantor, the elephant, shared with them the somnolent security of their
ancestral home. Swaying his great body to and fro, flapping his huge ears,
and switching his inadequate tail, he browsed upon the tender shoots of
the succulent bamboo.
Then, of a sudden, all was changed. Um-gah, the
king ape, went berserk. He beat his massive chest. He screamed. He roared.
He bared his mighty fangs and growled. The shes and the bulls awoke from
their lethargy. They were alert and fearful. The little balus scampered
to their mothers’ sides. Tantor turned tail and fled.
Um-gah ran amuck. Roaring and frothing, he leaped
upon Meemee and tore a great piece from her back. He sprang upon She-she,
and rent her; then he seized a little balu and tore it limb from limb.
The quiet and peace of the forest primeval was shattered by his hideous
A bronzed giant, naked but for a G-string, lolled
at ease upon a leafy branch. He had hunted and made his kill. He had fed
– fed from the juicy rump of Wappi, the antelope. He wished only to lie
and digest, but his peace was blasted by the screams of tortured shes and
The tribe, his tribe, was in danger! He leaped
to his feet, swaying perilously upon the weaving branch; then, with the
agility of Manu, the monkey, he swung through the middle terrace of the
forest in the direction of the sounds that had aroused him.
Um-gah was rending another balu when the Lord
of the Jungle dropped from an overhanging branch and faced him. The bronzed
giant, naked but for a G-string, beat his breast and voiced the hideous
challenge of the bull ape.
Um-gah dropped the mangled corpse of the balu.
“I kill!” he screamed. They circled. The bronze giant, naked but for a
G-string, seized Um-gah and lifted him above his head; by one wrist he
lifted him. He swung him in great circles, then hurled him to the ground
and leaped upon him. “Kreeg-ah!” he shouted, which means “Surrender!” He
placed a foot upon the body of his foe and raising his face to the heavens,
voiced the victory cry of the bull ape.
“Kreeg-ah,” admitted Um-gah, which also means
“I do surrender.”
“Ula bango gin mula mula?” demanded Tarzan, or
“What the hell’s eating you, you big bum?”
“Can you blame me?” pleaded Um-gah. “Some so-and-so
swiped my new issue of Rob Wagner’s Script.”