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Volume 1904b1
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
Selected 19thCentury Simian Fiction (1830-1914)
Shelf B1
1. Matteo Bandello: Novella XXXIX. A mischievous ape...

2. G. Linnaeus Banks: Chapter XIII. Blondin on Four Legs
3. Thomas Bond: A Merry Tale
4. Marie Brown: A Tale of Two Monkeys
5. Susie M. Best: Jocko
Matteo Bandello  (d. 1555)
Novella XXXIX. A mischievous ape...
The Italian Novelists (Thomas Roscoe, ed.)
1825: London: Septimus Prowett
3: 34-42
An ape dressed in a dead woman's clothes frightens priests and relatives alike.
A mischievous ape, upon occasion of a lady's funeral,
clothes himself in the garments of the deceased,
and terrifies the survivors and the priest who came to exorcise him.

In the time of Lodovico Sforza, the unfortunate Duke of Milan, there was kept, among other living curiosities in the ducal palace, a large and beautiful ape, whose amusing yet harmless manners, full of practical jests and witticisms, had long obtained for him the liberty of going at large. Such indeed was his reputation for prudence and good conduct, that he was not merely permitted the range of the whole palace, but frequently visited the outskirts, in the vicinity of Maine, of Cusano, and San Giovanni, and was not unfrequently seen conversing with some friend upon the walls. In fact most people were eager to shew their respect for him by presenting him with fruits and other dainties, no less from regard to his ducal patron, than to his own intrinsic merits. The singular pleasure he afforded to all classes of society, by his happy talents of various kinds, was always a sufficient passport from place to place, But his favourite resort, among many others, was the house of an ancient gentlewoman, situated in the parish of San Giovanni, upon the walls; where he cultivated the society of her two sons, one of whom in particular, though at the head of a family, invariably received his monkey guest in the most amiable manner, making him as much at home as if he had been the lady's favourite lap-dog. These young men, perceiving their aged mother amused with the animal's unequalled exhibitions of his art, vied with each other in paying the most gratifying attentions to his monkeyship; and would certainly, had he not happened to have been ducal property, either have purchased or stolen him, merely out of regard to their mother. The whole household, likewise, received orders to treat him with the same invariable kindness and respect, studying what appeared most agreeable to his taste, so as to give him an affection for the old lady's house. This last motive weighed so greatly with his apeship, that he almost deserted his other neighbours, in order to enjoy more of the society of these very agreeable friends; although he was careful to return to his own ducal residence at the castle in the evening. During this time the aged lady becoming very infirm, no longer left her chamber, where she was affectionately attended by her whole family, who supplied her with every alleviation in the power of medical advice to bestow. Thither; occasionally, our facetious hero was also introduced for the purpose of awakening a smile on the wan features of the patient, by his strange and amusing manners, receiving some delicate morsels in return from the poor lady's own hand. As be possessed a natural taste, in common with most of his race, for every kind of sweets, he was in the habit of besieging the old lady's room with great perseverance and assiduity, feasting upon the beat confectionary with far higher zest than the poor patient herself. Worn out at length, by long infirmities and age, she soon after departed this world, having first with becoming piety confessed herself, and received the holy sacraments of our church, with the communion and extreme unction at the final close.

While the funeral ceremonies were preparing, and the last offices rendered to the deceased, the monkey appeared to pay remarkable attention to all that was going forward. The corpse being dressed, and placed on the funeral bier, the holy sisterhood then attended with the usual ceremonies, offering up hymns and aves to the Virgin for the soul of the deceased. The body was afterwards borne to the parish church not far distant, not unobserved by the monkey, who watched the procession depart. But he soon turned his attention to the state of things around him; and after feasting on the cake and wine, being a little elevated, he began to empty the boxes and drawers, and examine the contents. Having observed the deceased in her last habiliments, and the form of her head-dress when she was laid but, the facetious ape immediately began to array himself in the cast-off garments, exactly in the manner he had witnessed; and so perfect was the resemblance, that when he had covered himself up in bed, the physician himself would have been puzzled to detect the cheat. Here the false patient lay, when the domestics entered the chamber; and suddenly perceiving the monkey thus dexterously laid out, they ran back in the utmost terror and surprise, believing that they had really seen either the corpse or the spirit of the deceased. After recovering sufficient presence of mind to speak, they declared, as they hoped to be saved, that they had seen their mistress reposing upon her sick couch as usual. On the return of the two brothers with their friends and relatives from church, they directly resolved to ascend in a body into the sick chamber; and night already approaching, they all felt, in spite of their affected indifference, an unpleasant sensation on entering the room. Drawing near the bed-side, they not only fancied they saw and heard a person breathe, but observing the coverings move, as if the patient were about to spring from the couch, they retreated with the utmost precipitation and alarm. When they had recovered their spirits a little, the guests requested that a priest might be sent for, to whom, on his arrival, they proceeded to explain the case. On hearing the nature of it, the good friar, being of a truly prudent and pious turn, despatched a person back for his clerk, with orders to bring him the large ivory crucifix, and the illuminated psalter. These, with the help of holy water, the wafer, and the priest's stole, were judged a sufficient match for the devices of the Evil One; and thus armed, repeating the seven psalms, with due ejaculations to the Virgin, they once more ascended the stairs, the clerk, in obedience to the friar, bearing the huge ivory crucifix at their head. He had previously exhorted the brothers to have no fears for the final salvation of their parent, as the number and excellence of her confessions were an effectual preservative against the most diabolical efforts of the adversary. He maintained that there was not the least cause for alarm, for what the servants had beheld were merely Satanic illusions, which he had frequently been in the habit of dispelling with singular success; and that having made use of his exorcisms, he would then bless the house, and with the Lord's help, lay such a curse upon the bad spirits, as would deprive them of the least inclination to return.

When they arrived at the chamber-door, all the guests, in spite of these encouraging exhortations and the sprinkling of holy water, drew back, while the bold friar ordered his clerk to advance in the name of the Lord; which he did, followed only by his superior. Approaching the sick bed, they perceived Monna Bertuccia, our facetious ape, laid out as we have said, in perfect personification of the deceased. After mumbling some prayers, and flourishing the cross in vain, for some time, they began to entertain doubts of their success, though at the same time they felt ashamed to retreat. So sprinkling the holy water with a more liberal hand, crying: "Asperga me, domine; asperges me; they complimented the ape with a portion of it in his face. Expecting upon this to be next saluted with a blow of the huge cross, he suddenly began to grin and chatter in so horrible a manner, that the sacred vessel fell from the priest's hands, and the clerk at the same time dropping the crucifix, they both fled together. Such was their haste, that they stumbled, one over the other, down the stairs, the priest falling upon his clerk, when they reached the bottom.

On hearing the sudden crash, and the terrified exclamation a of the good friar, "Jesus, Jesus, Domine, adjuva me," the brothers, followed by the rest of the party, rushed towards the spot, eagerly inquiring what dreadful accident had occurred. Both of the holy personages gazed on the guests, without being able to utter a word; but their pallid looks spoke volumes sufficient to answer all demands. The poor clerk fainted away, no less from excess of fear than from the terrible fall he had just received. Having obliged both to partake of some restoratives, the priest at length summoned courage enough to say: "It is true, my dear children, I have indeed seen your poor departed mother in the form of a fierce demon;" when just as he had finished these words, the cause of all their disturbance, desirous of securing the remnants of the feast, was heard approaching at a pretty brisk and clattering pace down the unlucky stairs. Without giving any of the party time to discover a fresh place of refuge, or even to prepare their minds for his reception, he bounced suddenly into the room, armed cap-à-pie, in the fearful petticoats of the deceased. His head was dressed to a nicety exactly in the same manner as the old lady's, and his whole body very decently arrayed in her late habiliments. He placed himself in the midst of the company, all of whom stood rooted to the spot, silent and awe-stricken, awaiting the dreadful scene that might ensue. The wrinkles in his countenance certainly bore no small resemblance to those in the features of the deceased, to which his very serious demeanour added not a little. Yet after a few secret ejaculations for divine protection on the part of the guests, the facetious visitor was soon recognized by one of the brothers, the only person who had possessed courage to look the monkey in the face, on his sudden entrance into the room. Momentary prayers and exclamations were then as suddenly converted into bursts of laughter; and in a few minutes, the author of all their sufferings began to resume the usual hilarity of his disposition, to exhibit his best manoeuvres in the saltic art, and with the greatest politeness, severally to accost the company. He evinced, however, the utmost aversion to disrobing himself of his new honours, snapping at any one who ventured to approach him, while he performed his antics in the ablest and most whimsical manner. In full dress he thus set out on his return to the castle, meeting with reiterated plaudits, as he passed along the streets. In this state, he was welcomed home by the domestics of the castle, producing infinite diversion among the courtiers, and all those who witnessed his exploits. Nor did the two brothers punish him for his involuntary fault; rather kindly permitting him to return to his old haunts, where he feasted and frolicked away his days, until he attained to a happy and respectable old age.

G. Linnaeus Banks  (1821-1881)
Chapter XIII. Blondin on Four Legs
Blondin; His Life and Performances
1862: London Routledge,Warne, and Routledge
Biography of high-wire artist Blondin, who played an ape in play about a shipwrecked child raised by a monkey.
Blondin on Four Legs

M. Blondin's next engagement at the Crystal Palace was at Christmas last, when the programme of amusements provided for holiday visitors embraced (among other attractions) a pantomimic drama of exciting interest, from the fertile pen of Mr. Henry Coleman, in which the Hero of Niagara enacted the part of an Ape. The piece was entitled "The Child of the Wreck" It was produced on a newly-erected and elegantly-appointed stage in the centre transept, and to witness it, the entire floor of the transept, the Handel orchestra, and the galleries above, were thronged with spectators.

Mr. Fenton, of the Haymarket Theatre, was the scenic artist, and opened the series of pictorial illustrations with a wreck scene, in which Don Fernando, the proprietor of a Brazilian plantation, witnesses the wreck of a vessel that contains his wife and child on a voyage to England. He is, however, not an idle spectator of the catastrophe, for by his well-timed efforts, and endangering for the moment his own security, he succeeds in saving his wife. He remains in doubt concerning his child, but has serious misgivings that it has fallen a victim to the merciless element. Happily for him, and for the child, this is not the case. The child has been rescued by a faithful Ape, who preserves it in a cavern, and tends it with sagacious and exemplary care. Like all such animals the Ape is but an ape, and is guilty of monkey tricks, which, being mischievous, excite the revenge of the neighbouring peasantry. One of these, named Sam, waylays the unfortunate and misappreciated animal, and tracks him to a grotto where the child is concealed. The misunderstood preserver of a superior race is shot but in its last struggles the poor Ape does not forget its innocent charge, which it brings forth exultingly and restores to its astonished parents, and then dies, as if satisfied with having done its duty, surrounded with astonished groups of unthankful men. Such a conclusion is intensely satirical, and breathes an irony too deeply seated for mere burlesque.

M. Blondin manifested mimetic powers of the highest order in the various contortions and antics, with which he portrayed the sympathetic, self-sacrificing, and ill-compensated ape. He was careful, too, to preserve the true and natural resemblance by a skilful dramatic make-up, which was satisfactory to all who witnessed the marvellous exhibition; whilst apart from the drama, he performed some extraordinary professional feats, still in the character of the Ape, which demand a suitable record. Now he might be seen crawling along a tight rope from the summit of the stage to the termination of the adjoining gallery; and then, taking hold of another rope suspended from, the roof of the transept, he swung himself over, in the manner of Leotard, to the opposite gallery. Here he caught a third rope, by which he slipped down among the spectators; and, in the same manner, he afterwards fled or leaped on to the stage.

A writer in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, who witnessed the performance, supplies a most interesting account of his impressions at the time, under the title of


"The activity and courage of the performer," he says, "are truly something marvellous; but yet he partially defeats his own object, for his face, mischievous tricks, and the skin he wears, render him so like a real monkey, that people do not expect anything but excessive activity from the creature before their eyes. Were he to perform the same tricks in his ordinary exercising dress, the effect would be much heightened.

""There have of late been great disputes relative to the difference between the man and the monkey. Here, then, is a man acting the part of a monkey; and I was most curious to see how human anatomy would disport itself in the performance of feats peculiar to an animal whose habitat is in trees. On the whole, I felt some complaceny as a homo at the marked difference between the two animals -- human and non-human. Imprimis -- a monkey being quadrumanous, or four-handed, always prefers to make progress (whether he be going slowly or swiftly) upon all four members, and he never stands erect except upon special occasions, and those rare ones: walking on two legs is not his natural mode of going. Blondin, on the contrary, being bimanous, or two-handed, naturally elects the upright mode of walking: anything else is difficult to him; and when he has to advance or run away, he has to do it rather more like a man than a monkey.

""When Blondin does walk upon 'all-fours,' his gait is very different from that of a monkey; he is obliged to walk upon the toes of his feet, the heels being erect in the air, and upon the palms of his hands, the thumbs being stretched well away from the fingers. The real monkey walks with the whole of the sole of the foot, heel and all, flat upon the ground, the great toe (or thumb) being separated from the toes. The four digits of the hand are parallel to one another -- the very converse of Blondin's case. In fact, one of the great distinctions between a man and a monkey is, that the man has a thumb opposable to the top of each of the other digits; and upon this apparently insignificant fact is founded much of his superiority over all other animals. The monkey's thumb is not opposable to the other digits; but, as if to compensate for this, his great toe takes the office of a thumb, and is of the greatest use to him in holding on to branches during the act of climbing. If a gorilla were to walk over Blondin's tight-rope, it would be seen by the spectators below that he would grasp the rope with his great toe. Blondin's anatomical construction will not allow him to do this; he walks, therefore, upon the sole of his foot, sustaining himself by the comparatively feeble grasp of the curve of the foot, and by a nice management of his centre of gravity, which gives him the appearance of walking so much from the hips. The great toes can, however, be trained to grasp; and there is a poor man in London streets who gains his living by writing with his toes; still, no living man or woman will ever be able to vie with the monkey, as far as grasping with the great toe is concerned. Barefooted sailors come nearest to the animal in this respect. Watch a monkey go up a pole; you will see he places his hind feet on the surface of the pole, at a considerable angle to his body (which anatomy enables him to do), and thus he ascends. Watch Blondin; his feet cannot be turned inwards like the monkey's. The complicated ligaments of the ankle, made to support an erect frame, will not allow it; he has therefore caused small wooden steps to be nailed on to his pole, which exactly resembles the bear's pole at the Zoological Gardens. In fact, Blondin goes up his pole much like our friend Ursa Major, to whom, as regards the structure of the foot, Blondin approaches more nearly than he does the monkey. The tear is a genuine plantigrade, so called because he possesses the faculty, from the structure of the sole of his five-toed foot, of rearing himself up on the hind feet. Blondin, therefore -- unwittingly, no doubt -- has arranged his climbing pole to suit his plantigrade structure.

"A merry little child just in front of me at the Crystal Palace, at first was half-frightened at Blondin, thinking, in her infant mind, he was a real monkey; and when assured by her father that this was not the case, she wisely questioned his answer by the observation: 'Why, papa, he has not a mite of a tail.' True, Blondin has no tail; and I would venture to ask the Directors of the Crystal Palace what species of monkey M. Blondin represents -- whether a monkey of the Old World, or a monkey of the New World? The monkeys of the New World have prehensile tails, a species of fifth hand; and, what is very extraordinary, the non-prehensile tailed monkeys when feeling unwell, gnaw and devour the tips of their tails; whereas those of the New World, knowing the disadvantage that would thence accrue to them, do not gnaw their tails. Blondin would find it difficult to make an artificial prehensile tail, worked by human mechanism; he has, therefore, wisely dropped the subject, and we must assume that he performs in the character of an Old World monkey."

"His pluck and courage in performing his jump of one hundred and twenty feet are really marvellous. Ascending to a high platform on one side of the transept of the Crystal Palace, in front of the stage, he holds on to a rope fastened securely above, and, letting himself go with a spring, swings right across the transept to the opposite side. It is as though you hauled up the great brass chandelier of Westminster Abbey into the organ loft, and let it swing bodily up towards the reading eagle, under the centre of the great tower. I was curious to see how Biondin would land from his aerial journey, as his impetus would be too great to allow him to lodge on a platform. An eagle or other large bird, stopping suddenly in his flight, has his wings to help him in bringing him up on a given point; not so Blondin: for the moment, he converts his body into a pendulum, it is a dead heavy weight, and his physical force, therefore, is greatly inferior to the dead weight of his body acting under the laws of gravitation. A monkey in a natural state, free and wild in the forest, is no fool; he won't go and jump bang on to the trunk of a tree, a hard, firm, and inelastic substance -- he is much too clever for that. He jumps on to a bough, which is elastic, bending, and pliant, and gives time for muscular force to overcome gravitating force. We don't often see monkeys wild in the English woods, but we do see a very monkey-like animal in every respect. The pretty little squirrel jumps not from trunk to trunk, but from bough to bough. Blondin has instinctively arrived at the same conclusion as nature did when she made the monkey and the squirrel, and he has therefore arranged a thick rope, which would represent a bough, in front of the platform, where he arrives at the end of his swing; in fact, the arrival platform looks like a large cage with one thick bar. When about to start, he fixes his eye ou the bar, and then away he goes with a most magnificent eagle-like swoop, as near flying as it is possible for human flesh and blood to arrive at; and when he feels himself near the end of his tether on the opposite side of the arch he has described, he stretches out his legs, and grasps in an instant the single bar of his cage.

This rope-bar being fixed, 'gives' to his force more or less; once having a hold with his legs, the rest is easy; he poises himself for a moment, holds on by one hand, and lets go the swinging rope which has carried him safely across with the other. This seems all very easy on paper, but I do not think it is very easy in practice, for the day I saw hitn, the long swing-rope became entangled in his foot, and it was with difficulty he got it free again. I heard subsequently that a few days after he missed the rope on to which he swings -- he was not quite quick enough to catch it with his feet, and away he went right back again into open space; for if human beings will convert themselves for the time into pendulums, they must submit to the laws which govern pendulums, and not human beings. Missing his bold, therefore, away he swung back again, but not with sufficient force to reach the place whence he started; he swung short of it, and back and back again, oscillating to and fro in mid-air for some minutes. It was impossible for him to recover sufficient force to reach either side; he was physically on the horns of a dilemma. There were only two ways of escape -- one downwards, one upwards. Downwards he could not go, the drop on the ground was too great; upwards he might go, as he still held on to the rope. There was no question that this was the only road open for him, so therefore, up he went -- up, up -- till he should meet with a friendly cross-road which would conduct him home. On to one of the side-ropes he therefore transferred himself, and arrived in safety, amid the cheers of the visitors, at the same platform whence he had started."

Thomas Bond 
A Merry Tale
Topographical and Historical Sketches of the Boroughs of East and West Looe, in the County of Cornwall; with an Account of the Natural and Artificial Curiosities and Picturesque Scenery of the Neighbourhood.
1823: London: J. Nichols and Son.
In Elizabethan times an ape, posing is the "Queen's Ape" takes in the gullible inhabitants of the Cornish village of Loo

A Merry Tale

I have now nearly exhausted my subjects. As a faithful Historian, however, I cannot help inserting the following story, which I have seen in print, for the mere purpose of gravely contradicting the slurs which are thereby intended to be imposed on one or other of the two Looes. Similar jokes have been made on other Cornish Boroughs, but all of them create more mirth than mischief, whatever their authors intended. This story is printed at the end of an old edition of Aesop's Fables, and runs thus:


"Having been conversant with birds and beasts, I will add one true story thereon, which demonstrates that stupidity and ignorance possess some human souls to such a degree, that they seem to have no more knowledge than the beasts that perish.

"In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a fellow who wore his hat buttoned up on one side, and a feather therein, like a tooth-drawer, with the rose and crown on his breast for a badge, had obtained a licence from the then Lord Chamberlain, to make a show of a great ape about the country, who could perform many notable tricks; and by going to markets and fairs, his master picked up a great deal of money. The ape usually rid upon a mastiff dog, and a man beat a drum before him. It happened that these four travellers came to a town called Loo in Cornwall, where, having taken an inn, the drum beat about the town to give notice, that at such a place was an admirable ape, with very many notable qualities, if they pleased to bestow their money and time to come to see him; but the towns-people being a sort of poor fishermen who minded their own employments, none of them thought it worth their while to see this worthy sight, at which the fellow being vexed, resolved to put a trick upon them whatsoever came of it, and therefore he contrives a warrant which he sends to the Mayor to this effect:

"These are to will and require you and every one of you with your wives and families, that upon sight hereof, you make your personal appearance before the Queen's Ape, for he is an ape of rank and quality, and is to visit all her Majesty's dominions, that by his converse and acquaintance with her loving subjects, he may be the better enabled to do her Majesty service in discovering their fidelity and loyalty. And hereof fail not, as you will answer the contrary at your utmost peril."

This warrant being brought to the Mayor, he sent for a shoemaker at the farther end of the town to read it, which when he had heard, he assembled his brethren the Aldermen to the Common-hall, to consult of this weighty affair. Being met, they all sate silent at least a quarter of hour, no man speaking a word, not knowing what to say; at length a young man who had never served any office said, "Gentlemen, if I might speak without offence, and under correction of the Worshipful, I would give my opinion in this matter."

"Pray, neighbour, speak freely," quoth the Mayor, "for though you never yet bore any office, yet you may talk as wisely as some of us."
"Then," says the young man, "I am of the mind that this ape-carrier is an insolent saucy knave, who designs to make our town ridiculous to the whole kingdom; for was it ever known that a fellow should be so audacious to send a warrant without either name or date to a Mayor of a town, who is the Queen's Lieutenant, and that he and his brethren, their wives and children, should be all commanded to appear before a jackanapes; therefore, my counsel is that you take him and his ape, with his man and his dog, and whip the whole tribe of them out of the town, which will be much for your reputation and credit."

At which words, a grave Alderman, being much disturbed, replied, "Friend, you have spoken little better than treason; remember it is the Queen's Ape, and therefore be careful what you say."

"You speak true, brother," quoth theMayor. "I wonder how that saucy fellow came into our company; pray, friend, depart; I think you long to have us all hanged." The young man being put out of doors, "Well now, brethren," says the Mayor, "what is to be done with this troublesome business?"

"Marry," quoth another old senior, "we may see by the feather in his cap, and the badge he wears, that he is the Queen's man, and who knows what power a knave may have at Court, to do poor men in the country an injury? therefore, let us e'en go and see the Ape, it is but two-pence apiece, and no doubt the Queen will take it well, if it come to her ear, and think that we are very civil people to show so much duty to her Ape; what may she imagine we would do to her bears if they should come hither; besides 'tis above two hundred miles to London, and if we should be complain'd of and fetched up by pursivants or messengers, I'll warrant it would cost us at least ten groats a man, whereas we now come off for twopence apiece."

This wise speech was though so pertinent, that the whole drove of townsmen with their wives and children went to see the Ape, whom they found sitting on a table with a chain about his neck, to whom Mr. Mayor put off his hat, and made a leg to show his respect to the Queen's Ape; yet pug let him pass unregarded; but Mrs. Mayoress coming next in a clean white apron with her hands laid upon it, she, to shew her breeding, makes a low curtsie to him; and pug, like a right courtier, though he did not mind the man, yet, to shew his respect to the woman, put out his paw to her, and made a mouth; which the woman perceiving, "Husband," quoth she, "I think in my conscience the Queen's Ape mocks me;" whereat pug made another wry face at her, which Mr. Mayor observing, grew very angry, crying, "Thou sirrah ape, I see thy sauciness, and if the rest of the courtiers have no more manners than thou hast, I am afraid they have been better fed than taught; but I'll make thee to know, before thou goest out of town, that this woman is my wife, an antient woman and a midwife, and one that for her age might be thy mother;" and then going in a rage to the door, where the ape's tutor was gathering in his pence, "Sir," says he, "do you allow your ape to abuse my wife?"

"No,by no means," quoth the fellow.

"Truly sir," quoth the Mayor, "there be sufficient witness within that saw him make mops and mows at her, as if she were not worthy to wipe his shoes."

"Sir," said the fellow, "I will presently give him severe chastisement for his impudence;" and thereupon taking his whip, and holding Jack by the chain, he gave him half a dozen smart lashes, that made pug's teeth chatter in his head like virginal jacks; which Mr.Mayor espying, runs to the fellow, and holding his hand, cried out, "Enough, enough, good Sir, you have done like a gentleman; let me intreat you never to give correction in your wrath; and pray, Sir, when the play is done, be pleased to come along with your ape to my house, and both of you take a small supper with me and my wife."

Marie Brown
A Tale of Two Monkeys
Christian Observer
87: 25: 18
The capers of two monkeys amongst a human family

A Tale of Two Monkeys

One Christmas my papa made brother and myself happy by giving us a monkey apiece; they were half grown, and were brought from Venezuela. They were little things, and the youngest had not left his mother long enough to eat, so we fed them on boiled milk, which they loved dearly. I always thought monkeys were selfish, but the older one could have taught a lesson to anyone in kindness to a smaller and weaker animal; he would not touch his food until the little one, Jocko, had eaten, he would not allow anyone to hurt Jocko, and would sleep with him in his arms, and would cry for him in the most pathetic manner if separated.

Jocko was a rare kind of monkey; he was the size and color of a fox squirrel; he was very delicate, and the sailor said few of his kind stood the sea voyage. His face was very intelligent, and would change expression like a child; he was amiable, but delighted to tease.

The other, which was a Capuchin and a larger monkey, was brown, with a white face, white whiskers, a Jim Corbett pom­padour and Corbett lip, for he was eternal­ly chattering if things did not suit. He favored an Irishman, and we called him Micky.

Jocko was brave and not afraid of any­thing; he made friends with the dogs, and used them for horses, but drew the line at the donkey and cows.

If you gave them a looking-glass, they would enjoy it as much as any other dudes. They were fond of teasing the cats, and they would pull the feathers out of the chickens.

Mick was devoted to a kitten; he loved her dearly, and would carry her around clasped in his tail, holding her above his head; then treat her to a run up and down the banisters of the stairs. One day some one, by ringing the doorbell, frightened him; he dropped kitty and broke her neck, much to his dismay. He could not shake life back into her; she would not meow; he cried heartily.

Some young ladies were visiting our house; they would go to the dresser and powder their faces and tie their sashes in the back. It did not take Jocko long to catch on. To our surprise, one day he jumped in front of the glass, and with a sly little chatter proceeded to powder his face, then would turn around and admire himself, then grab his tail and give it a shake, imitating the girls settling their sashes. He would repeat this every few hours.

Micky did not admire this, and when he would see Jocko powdered, he would make a funny noise, that sounded like "Oh, Oh," and run under the bed. Jock would pursue and make him come out.

He would look at Jock in a heart-broken manner and cry in the most dismal way, and was only comforted when the powder was rubbed off. He hated to see Jock ruin his complexion that way.

Mick was a great coward and bluff, and Jocko knew it. We had a rubber snake he was afraid of; Jock would get it, and when Mick was serene and happy would suddenly drop it on him. Then Mick would run; and Jock would cackle.

We had a bantam who bossed the yard. Mick did not pull any feathers out of her chickens, she made him step high -- she knew he was a bluff.

Jock was fond of bathing, and would bathe like a person; he would scrub his neck, ears and head thoroughly. Mick did not like to bathe, but Jock would pull him in, much to his disgust, and duck him until he bathed. Mick's mamma was not as particular in his training as Jock's was.

Jocko belonged to brother. He would sit on the gate post and watch for him. As soon as he came he was happy. He would hug and kiss him, and never notice me. Both monkeys seemed to know who owned them. When Jocko was nearly grown he ate some jessamine flowers, which gave him convulsions, and he died from their poison. He acted in suffering just like a person would. It was pitiful to see Mick, he seemed to know that Jocko was very sick; he would rub his bead, lie down by him and make a curious noise, bring him food and try and comfort him. When he died, Mick cried in the most plaintive manner, and would hold the little dead body close to him and caress it. We had to take it away from him to bury it. For two weeks, he would scarcely eat, and grieved himself nearly to death; then he made friends with the donkeys, and rode and petted them, and employed himself picking the fleas off the dogs, and scalping and punching the eyes out of my dolls, until they were all bald and blind.

He will go into the garden and take a knife or stick and spade the ground like papa, and try to cut flowers with the scissors. He has a passion for knives and shears, and bright things. He can throw a stick at anything, and hit it, too.

You can not tie Mick, he will untie any knots and open any door. When papa was very ill, he seemed to realize something was wrong. One day he found the win­dow open. He crept in softly, and lay down by him, and began to pat him as if he were a baby. After awhile papa said : "There Mick, that is enough," he raised himself quietly and went out.

He is fond of being smoked with to­bacco smoke, and will rub tobacco over his body. He eats anything we eat. He has been on one spree, but is now strictly temperate, and will join the W.C.T.U. A little negro had procured some whiskey, and made him a toddy, which made him drunk. It was too funny to see him. He horrified Jock (who would not touch it) by his strange con­duct, and by wanting to fight. Finally he staggered around until he fell down dead drunk, and slept his potations off. But oh, next day what a headache! He held his head all day, and grunted, and could not eat. Jock did not sympathize; he was not fond of toddy.

You could not get Mick to touch liquor now; one experience was enough for him. How much wiser than man!

He one day pulled a bottle of red ink over, and made a red monkey of himself. Every one laughed at the red monkey, and Mick did not like it. He cried and chattered until we washed him; but that only made him pink. He is five years old, and has his likes and dislikes, like a person. He has always been very healthy. When he looks sick, I give him popcorn and boiled milk.

He loves babies dearly, but hates ne­groes, and will help the dogs in a fight by biting and scratching.

Selma, Ala.

Susie M. Best

Godey's Lady's Book
124(743): 452
A monkey reacts poorly to a mirror


[45] Susie M. Best. 1892. Jocko. Godey's Lady's Book 124(743): 452. [A monkey reacts poorly to a mirror]

Jocko is a very cute little monkey. He lives in a cage at the Zoo. He is full of cunning little tricks.
One day among the visitors who were standing at his cage watching him, was a big boy, who kept giving him different things from his pockets.

At last the boy handed Jocko a little looking-glass. The monkey took it in his hand and looked at it.

When he saw his own face in it he was very much surprised, and thought at first that it was another monkey.

He began chattering wildly about it, and making a great many queer faces at it.

He turned the glass over, and finding that he could not see himself on that side, appeared quite astonished.

After turning it over and over for some time, he seemed to make up his mind that he would see what was the matter with the glass, for he finally put it into his mouth and cracked it with his teeth.

The broken glass cut his mouth and made it bleed. This frightened him, and he spit the pieces out of his mouth, making a great fuss about it at the same time.

After chattering angrily for awhile at the boy who had given him the glass, he went to the perch in the back of his cage, and refused to come off of it again that day.

After that Jocko never wanted to see a looking-glass again.


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