Volume 1880
Georges Dodds'
The Ape-Man: his Kith and Kin
A collection of texts which prepared the advent of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

"Bobbi the Chimp: A Crime Against Humanity"

Willy Speyer

Baldur Bujatzeck and Georges Dodds, transl.


Willy Speyer: unknown.

Link to Tarzan of the Apes

An ape brought into human society does not fit in and is ostracized.

Edition(s) used

Modifications to the text

"Bobbi the Chimp:
A Crime Against Humanity"

As a result of the nasty disposition of a young lady, a crime against humanity of unpredictable consequences was perpetrated on Bobbi, a chimpanzee. As a writer, I will attempt to give you poetic insight into this anecdote, yet maintain a sense of morality and political correctness.

Our bicycle club, the "Freiheit und Fortschritt" organized a trip into the wooded valleys adjoining our local river. At the result of the tendency to merriment of our afternoon picnic, we decided that it would be a good idea to finish the outing by visiting the local theatre.

Thus, as dawn broke, merrily ringing our bells, we rode our bicycles to the theatre. We left our bicycles at the check-room. Shortly after, we were sitting with a good beer engaged in lively discussions waiting for the seventh act of the show: the toboggan and bicycle riding of Bobbi the chimpanzee

So far the family of artists were providing a show to our satisfaction. The act in drag was very funny and we were making jokes about it -- usually club members are not allowed to participate in such things. Furthermore the musical clowns were surprising us with their talent to perform a song using only car horns. But the Bobbi the chimp stirred deep philosophical thoughts.

I assume everyone knows what a chimp looks like, namely a small brown-coloured old man that has lost his nose over time and received a big mouth instead.

Bobbi, dressed in a traditional Upper Bavarian costume, entered the stage guided by his trainer. The trainer was a good looking blonde man with glasses and a nice dress. Surprised and embarrassed by the overwhelming friendliness of the audience, the ape lifted his farmer's hat.

Everyone noticed that walking upright, the greatest capacity in which humanity had improved, was still hard for him. But it looked as if he were saying: "Patience, it will work out, it's only a matter of time."

During the blonde man's speech, the chimp was winking, just as dancers are like to before some strangers' loge, as if the ladies and gentleman up there were the only people of interest to him. This particular evening the loge was occupied by no less than a high ranking East-Indian officer, Lady Alice and her hand maid, and it looked like as a cloud of disgrace already surrounded them.

Bobbi the chimp started his performance by sitting down at a table and ringing for the waiter. An employee of the theatre came dressed as a waiter and gave him the menu. I felt as if the employee wasn't altogether impressed by the chimp, for he looked rather aggravated when the chimp browsed the menu. It looked as if he didn't enjoy being the only actor appearing in support of the chimp. Bobbi had a hard time choosing a dish. But all of a sudden -- we all felt a chill in our hearts -- he pointed his finger to the menu, gave the waiter a long look, wrinkled his forehead, and his only question seemed to be:

"What can you recommend?"

The waiter made his recommendation and Bobbi said: "OK! Hurry up!" and he brought him a bottle of milk and a glass. Bobbi removed a crystal cork -- didn't he have fingers just like an old man entering a room out of the blistering cold? -- and poured the milk into the glass. After that he wrote a postcard to a faraway loved one, got up and after a couple of tries put the postcard into a mailbox. All of his movements were somewhat rigid and reminded me of a blisteringly cold day. But with beating hearts we thought: "Now.now. he will warm up and start glowing with joy . now he will talk and smile." But nothing happened.

Now, Bobbi had to climb a high mountain and slide down on a bobsled. On the second occasion he lifted his hat and looked excitedly towards the audience. We thought he had shouted "Yippy!" But we were wrong.

After that Bobbi tried to mount a bicycle. But the audience was still applauding his toboggan performance and Bobbi wasn't sufficiently acknowledging the enthusiastic audience enough. As a result, the blonde man gave him a warning. Surprised and frightened he left the bicycle alone. He turned around and said to himself: "Surely I need to be polite to some degree.thank you, thank you very much!"

Bobbi then started riding the bicycle. It was a clean, solid bicycle, with no chain and equipped with large handle bars. My seven year old son uses such a of bicycle during our Sunday outings and we take care that he keeps up with the adults.

Bobbi had other things to worry about. He was manoeuvring on wavy path, first around three Champagne bottles, then six, and finally twelve Champagne bottles. His trainers had taught him how to ride holding the handle bar with only his right hand as well as with no hands. He was also taught to raise his hat from time to time during the ride. After doing this the audience gave him a big applause. But his demanding and fiery looks into the dark scared us to the bone.

We had to admit that his skills handling the bicycle were equal to our club member Mr. Michael Prohaska, a most artistic bicycle rider. Taking into account his heritage - eating nuts in the forest of Loango, lying in the wind and brawling with his mates - what an amazing development, what a comfort and sweet feast for humanity.

The best part followed at the end: they placed a bed, a bedside table and chair on the stage and Bobbi started to strip. He folded his jacket and trousers and popped them on the chair. Not to offend the ladies, he was wearing a long shirt now. He didn't hesitate to take a small white chamber-pot out of the bedside table and start sitting on it. Then he jumped into the bed, pulled the white sheet over his well- washed body and began waiting...for what? From behind the stage a female chimpanzee entered the stage. In the safety of a love instinct she went to the bed and lay down besides her husband. The curtains fell.

I have to admit that the response of the audience was rather crude and it seemed that they didn't realise the cultural significance of the evening. They were stomping with their feed, throwing tables around and starting to shout. Everyone looked at their neighbours with the same thrill in their eyes as Bobbi the chimp had had.

On the other hand, our club members were of a different character. They stayed on until midnight and participated in philosophical discussions about animals and humans.

What lay in Bobbi's hands, waiting for the surrounding warmth to make it like ours? What was knitting his brow, trying to break free like a stormy thought, like a warrior's hand busting down an old gate.

Didn't he want to be freed from the stream of existence termed animal reality, to feel the sweetness of youth and the pain of death?

But as a result of the strange personality of the governor's daughter, the chimp, already at the limits of his conscious with a pleasant sensations in his heart, was drawn back into the animal kingdom.

Lady Alice was taking a meal with her father and her hand maid at the show. She had a white face with green eyes. Tonight she was wearing a blood red dress with diamond- like appliqu‚s. On her hand she was wearing opals and sapphires and her marble-cold arms were covered with bands of fine Indian gold that had been stolen from sites of prayer to the old gods. In addition to this, a large black hat rested on her precious blond hair as if to praise worldly beauty and the triumphs of our time. Despite the claim of our fierce enemies we don't want to ban hats at all. If the young lady could have proven that she was inclined to wear a hat as a result of a completed professional education, nobody would have any objections to her purchasing such a hat in the department store.

But on this specific evening the young lady became possessed with some religious insanity. "A crime has been committed," she cried, with sparkling green eyes and marble-like hands shivering. "The animal was created to look up to and respect humans, and represents all that is humiliating. Kings had been overthrown from their thrones, religions destroyed, and the world become a pandemonium, yet animals had been left for humans to rule over."

"Daddy, I beg you" she cried, folding her hands and, with gold-weighted jangling arms, smashing a glass of Irron wine. She continued, "only a couple of days and Bobbi will becomes a democrat and starts reading Johannes V. Jensen."

"Please write me a cheque daddy, I will send him back to India and protect the last supremacy of humanity."

The governor opened his cheque book, the hand maid angrily started shaking her head knowing that chimps didn't belong in India. Meanwhile, the caretaker was cutting a filet on a small table.

So the lady wrote a postcard to her fianc‚ William, who was a lieutenant in Her Royal Indian Army.

Bobbi was shipped to Asia on a dreadnought. Some of the other travellers then left him out into the jungle. There he sat atop the trees, eating the same food that he had eaten in his youth. His eyes looked like the last flickers of a dying torch.

One day a storm went through his soul and he started to rebel against his impending fate and death. He longed for a bicycle, a bob -led, a big bed and the lure of a theatre audience became overpowering.

He had started upon the hundred thousand-year old pathway leading from the forest to humanity.

The day Bobbi turned up at the doorstep of the governor's house, the governor was having a soir‚e. It was a night full of wonders, with a mystical shimmer to the sky. The young lady was dancing with William. After the music stopped he led her into a chamber, drunken for love. His lips were kissing her cold gold-weighted arms and he released his hunger into her hands. Unexpectedly the lady pushed him away, and went to the balcony to cool her fiery breasts. All of the sudden she heard someone crying: "Let me in! Let me in! I finished the hundred thousand-year old pathway."

"Goddam - get back! This is the governor's house! Back or I will shoot!"

"I am backing up, Milord, please be a gentleman and let me in! The governor has to give me a cheque! I am coming from the woods and want to be part of humanity! I want to see America and I want to hear the music of the L- Trains and fly with an airplane over the jungle. I beg you."

"Stay back I say. You are a chimp, what do you want with the governor? The governor doesn't grant audiences to chimps. I will shoot you!"

"Milord I have to see the governor.. I am coming out of the woods."

A cry, a short ringing, a shot - and Bobbi the chimp fell. With a gruel-coloured face he looked up to the balcony, where he saw Lady Alice and with a short shiver he died. There, he lay under the golden Indian sky, with cold eyes and mocked by the lights in the sky.

The moment Lady Alice recognised the chimp she cried out, put a hand to her heart and died. The governor entered the scene and killed William, because he thought that William had killed his daughter. After looking more closely at the situation he recognised his mistake, lighted a cigarette, and the next minute he was throwing the cigarette away and killing himself with a razor. The same night some guardsmen died. Their death was attributed to dried plums which are known to be unhealthy in the Indian climate.


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Georges Dodds
William Hillman

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