1. John Gay: The Monkey who has Seen the World Fables
2. W.H. Gibson: Jocko
3. Walter M. Gibson: Abduction by an Orang Utan of Borneo
4. Julia Goddard: The Monkey's Story
5. Edward Allison Gale: Society Gleanings
A Monkey, to reform the times,
The Monkey Who Had Seen the World
Resolv'd to visit foreign climes;
For men in distant regions roam
To bring politer manners home;
So forth he fares, all toil defies:
Misfortune serves to make us wise.
At length the treach'rous snare was laid,
Poor Pug was caught, to town convey'd,
There sold; (How envy'd was his doom,
Made captive in a lady's room!)
Proud as a lover of his chains,
He day by day her favour gains,
Whene'er the duty of the day,
The toilette calls; with mimic play
He twirles her knots, he cracks her fan,
Like any other gentleman.
In visits too his parts and wit,
When jests grew dull, were sure to hit.
Proud with applause, he thought his mind
In ev'ry courtly art refin'd,
Like Orpheus burnt with publick zeal,
To civilize the monkey weal;
So watch'd occasion, broke his chain,
And sought his native woods again.
The hairy sylvans round him press,
Astonish'd at his strut and dress,
Some praise his sleeve, and others glote
Upon his rich embroider'd coat,
His dapper perriwig commending
With the black tail behind depending,
His powder'd back, above, below,
Like hoary frosts, or fleecy snow;
But all, with envy and desire,
His fluttering shoulder-knot admire,
Hear and improve, he pertly cries,
I come to make a nation wise;
Weigh your own worth; support your place,
The next in rank to human race.
In cities long I pass'd my days,
Convers'd with men, and learnt their ways:
Their dress, their courtly manners see;
Reform your date, and copy me.
Seek ye to thrive? In flatt'ry deal,
Your scorn, your hate, with that conceal;
Seem only to regard your friends,
But use them for your private ends,
Stint not to truth the flow of wit,
Be prompt to lye, whene'er 'tis fit;
Bend all your force to spatter merit;
Scandal is conversation's spirit;
Boldly to ev'ry thing pretend,
And men your talents shall commend;
I knew the Great. Observe me right,
So shall you grow like man polite.
He spoke and bow'd. With mutt'ring jaws
The wondring circle grinn'd applause.
Now warm with malice, envy, spite,
Their most obliging friends they bite,
And fond to copy human ways,
Practise new mischiefs all their days;
Thus the dull lad, too tall for school,
With travel finishes the fool,
Studious of ev'ry coxcomb's air,
He drinks, games, dresses, whores and swears
O'erlooks with scorn all virtuous arts,
For vice is fitted to his parts.
If ever, dear everybody, you discover yourself becoming greatly amused in watching a tame monkey and his comical antics, better not keep looking at him. Move on to the next cage. Interest yourself in some of the other animals.
I am plunging, rather abruptly, in medias res, but that is from the impulse communicated by my subject. It is his style always. And, as I was about to continue, if you happen to know of a friend who is going to South America on a voyage for his health, and it occurs to you what a nice chance it would be now to ask him to bring home a monkey for tho children --don't.
We did. We asked him, and he brought one. And it hadn't been with us a week before we heartily repented of our folly, and wished the monkey at the Equator.
For pure, unmixed mischief, and an untiring and inexhaustible invention in it, and persistent, unfaltering determination to keep at it and contrive it out and never give in, I was going to say I'd like to see the monkey that would exceed our Jocko. But I wouldn't. Nothing would induce me.
We have had him now a year, and we have tried all we know to cure him of bad ways and teach him good ones. We have scolded and potted, rattaned and patted, shut up, tied, chained, caged, to no effect. Box his ears, whip him for a diablerie, and immediately he starts off, in an airy bound on all fours, to begin that very thing again, looking at you, meanwhile, as if to bespeak your attention, as who should say, "Now, look here! you'll see how I can do it over again, worse than before."
But he isn't spiteful; not in the least vicious or ill-natured. He'll scream if he is vexed or any one teases him, like a thousand saws pitched in G alt. You can hear him up at the depot or down at the grist-mill, and he'll look like the leading hobgoblin in a nightmare, with his rows of shining teeth disclosed, the hair on his head erect, and his forehead drawn back till it shows white arches above his eyes. But that is all. Nay, he is affectionate and caressing to those he likes. Let a favorite friend approach him, and he lies down, all his face melting into the most abject and silly expression of satisfaction. If she poke him gently with foot or finger, his idiotic joy knows no bounds. If she continues noticing him and talks to him, he absolutely writhes with delight. He exhausts all his resources of absurd pantomime: drops his head, his chin on his breast; digs his side industriously; opens his mouth widely, grinning from ear to ear; puts his arm in his mouth -- over his head -- closing his eyes, and breathing audibly a whispered "Ha-h, ha-h," as it might be the evanishing point of human laughter, the link between that and the next thing of the sort lower down the grade; or -- to speak as a disciple of Darwin -- perhaps the rudimentary suggestion, from which was to be evolved, in the progress of the ages, that rounded and sonorous utterance which is the ebullition of hilarity known to the generations of present time.
"When Jocko first arrived we were perilously ignorant and unsuspicious of his latent powers and possibilities, yet to be revealed, for our better education in natural history and discipline in patience. He was gentle; confidingly fearless and familiar with us, strangers as we were, evidently contented and appreciative of onx attentions, and a very g iod-looking fellow withal. He had been carefully selected --" the finest specimen in Para," our friend said -- and was none of those repulsive-visaged objects one usually sees in a collection of monkeys; but young, healthy, with a nice face, the brightest eyes, of a sunny hazel, and an expression of make-believe meditation, irresistibly comic.
The news of such an importation spread rapidly through the village. Flocks of boys came "to see the monkey." He was duly taken about and exhibited at the houses of the neighbors, and even received the compliment of an invitation to spend a day at "the hotel" for the amusement of the guests. Shouts of laughter surrounded him wherever he went. All was serene while the novelty lasted, and while Jocko, entirely satisfied to be the centre of attention and attraction, was not thrown upon his own resources. He was allowed to be in the family circle, with so much liberty as was afforded by a rope several feet long attached to a leather strap buckled around his body; and no harm was done while any one was willing to have an eye perpetually upon him; a twitch at his rope being sufficient to restore him to instant order, quite obedient and submissive.
But this order of things couldn't last for ever. The day came, at last, when Jocko had to be left to himself a little. He was tied in the carriage-house by a long rope, everything made comfortable, and water and food placed within reach. The place was light and roomy. A broad door stood open at the south, letting in the warmth and sunshine. Heaps of fragrant hay were in the loft, or, if he preferred it, an old blanket of the pony's lay on the floor, where he might curl himself and take a nap. Hens and chickens strayed occasionally through. Doves came flapping their wings, to alight on the gravel. If all that couldn't content a monkey, what could?
But it didn't suit his idea, not in the least. One of the family, sitting at her window sewing, became aware, after a while, that strange sounds had continued and been multiplying for some time, from the direction of the stables. The boys were not within call. She walked down herself to see what all the noise meant, and soon understood perfectly. Jocko's rope had been tied near the tool-room door. He had opened it, had looked in, had studied the situation, and perceived opportunities for occupation. And he had proceeded to improve them with that animation and agility which, we have had ample occasion to learn, is eminently his characteristic.
Saws, hammers, planes, chisels, augers, et hoc genus omne, strewed the floor. Chains, rakes and spades lay across each other in layers of confusion. Boxes of nails were upset; a bucket of paint lay on its side, slowly parting with its contents; and there stood the genius of all this pandemonium, in the centre of the work-table, holding high above his head an earthen jug, from which was dripping its residue of harness-oil, doing his best, with repeated poundings, to smash it at his feet.
The lady stood surveying the scene. "Why, Jocko!" she said, reproachfully. He paused in his occupation, looked innocence personified, and then seemed to invite her to observe how many times a minute he could grin his wildest, and say "Oo, oo, oo," in rapid alternation. After that he proceeded attentively to examine a spot on his side, making brief remarks to himself in a hoarse undertone. She paused a while, mournfully, and then turned to go, thinking to send some one down to right the confusion. But Jocko saw that he was to be left alone again, so he recommenced. He leaped frantically from table to floor, to window, throwing about everything that lay in his way, and gained his point. His rope was untied, and he trotted after his liberator, peaceably, to the house.
After this he was fastened in the granary, where there was nothing ho could meddle with. An hour or two later he appeared, his tail holding aloft behind him the remnant of his rope, on his way, serene and unconscious, to join again the social circle.
The rope had been part of a clothes-line -- slender and long used. A new stout one was next procured, and this time fastened to the pony's ring outside the stable-door.
By-and-by direful squawks aroused the silence. We rushed to the scene, and beheld one of the hens held closely in the embrace of Jocko's tail, wound fast around her neck, and dragged about with him in unmelodious protest.
"Tie him in the granary again, Hugh. See that the door is fastened this time, and draw the shutter over the window-sash. He can't get away with the new rope."
This was two P.M. At four Jocko appeared in our midst, his now rope trailing behind him, its extremity shredded into a long tassel, and when we went out to see how he had made his escape we found an extemporized exit and a strew of splinters at the bottom of the granary-door.
It was about at this period of his career that we began to question whether it would not have been just as well, perhaps, never to have abstracted from his native Para her "finest specimen."
"Why not let him go looso awhile?" said one of us. "He knows the place now, and probably wouldn't leave it. Perhaps with his liberty a few hours he might be more contented and not get into mischief."
We tried the experiment. His strap was unbuckled. He was free, "the world before him where to choose."
First he chose the nearest apple-tree, and in a trice down came, say, half a peck of green "gilliflowers" -- a month too soon.
"Never mind," we said. "Let him stay there if he likes. He'll get tired of it before long."
Jocko, peering down through the leaves, saw his audience about to leave him, and lost no time in descending.
We now waited for what might follow. The next freak started him off among a flock of turkeys, sending them in wild chase over the lawn. They ran in dismay and outcry, Jocko flying after one, then another, leaping in wild bounds, and pursuing till the last and least had flown screaming beyond the orchard-fence.
Meanwhile we had returned to our room up-stairs, and sat looking on from the windows. When he came back he heard our voices. He spied us. Up he climbed by the columns of the veranda, and approached us, running along the roof.
"Shut the window!" exclaimed one of us. "Keep him out!"
He leaped to the sill and sat gazing in at us, grimacing. There was no particular objection to this, and we took up our work. Jocko saw himself ignored, and incontinently bit out a great splinter of the window-sash.
"Oh, you wretch!" exclaimed Girlie. She opened the window while she pushed him off, and gave him sundry smart slaps, shutting it quickly again with a victorious "There, there; now see!"
And we saw another great splinter bitten off -- another -- another. Of course we made haste to let him in, and this was all he wanted. He sprang to the nearest lap and sat still, perfectly contented.
"Whatever shall we do with him?" we lamented. "Harry, do go and get his strap; he must be tied again, somewhere."
The strap was brought, and we tried cautiously to fasten it in its place again unnoticed. But he understood, and objected.
Off he sprang with a bound to the floor, and then began a series of gymnastic feats, every one of which sent a pang of anxiety through our being, and the animal knew they did.
First, he landed on the bureau.
"Oh, that cologne bottle! Catch it, Hugh! there it goes! Oh, dear, he's got the hand-mirror! Take it away! Harry! Harry!can't you?"
No, Harry couldn't. Jocko leaped with it to the washstand, knocking down the goblet, which fell with a crash on the marble; thence to the bed, and across, with a flying leap, to the writing-desk. Here he dropped the mirror, safe, but began examining the pen-rack. My heart sank. If he should do anything to my gold pen! that precious pen -- just soft enough, just hard enough -- that I had such a time in selecting from all those boxes.
" Oh, see! he's got the cork out of the violet ink! Don't stir! don't step! You'll make him start and upset it!"
Jocko reaches his finger down into the bottle, takes it out and smells it; tastes it. He don't like it, and gives the bottle a spiteful knock, which tips it over. I ran to hold up the lid of the desk, with its unspotted green cloth, just in time to avert its ruin. Seeing me coming, he had jumped to the floor again -- to the bedó to -- the bureau -- to the washstand.
"Oh, boys, catch him! -- do. Throw a shawl over him! Do something!"
But the boys were holding their sides shouting with laughter.
Girlie stood helpless, amazed, half frightened.
Jocko was in a frenzy of delight. We saw, now, the full nature of the creature unfolded, and rioting without disguise. He kept flying about the room frantic for mischief. He threw my work-basket, with a flirt, up into the air, its contents descending in a shower promiscuously. He tore off the table-cover, he gave two or three vigorous pushes to the coal-scoop and sent that over. I opened a shawl and ran after him. As well run after the spot of reflection thrown from a mirror, shifting with every turn; or "the nimble flea" -- you put your hand on it, and it isn't there. So he kept us all watching, fearing, starting, till at last he yielded, not tired, but simply satisfied, and permitted himself to be taken.
A bright thought had occurred to the boys -- of a large wire squirrel-cage, empty, in the garret, and they had removed its wheel and brought it down in readiness. We put the monkey in at the door, snapped it fast, and congratulated ourselves.
The cage was a great relief to us; but we were not willing that it should be such a confinement to the monkey, who did not deserve punishment for being himself, after all, nor for having been the selection of "the fittest." Finally, after many expedients and failures, we arrived at an arrangement very satisfactory to all concerned.
Jocko was fastened by a steel chain -- several yards in length, slender but strong -- to the ring of a large kennel, on the broad gravel before the kitchen-door. Here he had ample range and plenty of company. The dog would roll and tumble with him in friendly frolic. The fowls became fearless and familiar, and learned to keep out of danger. When they saw him put his head down, in the first position for a somersault, and advance backward, inverted, his face looking out at them from between his hind-legs, and his tail extended toward them, they knew what it meant, and were wise accordingly. Nay, he got many a sharp peck for his impertinence.
While the mild Autumn days lasted, all went well. But with cold weather trouble began again. This native of the tropics had to be brought indoors, and to be kept in warm quarters.
It were too long to tell how many various constructions, by Harry's forgiving patience, were built for him during the Winter, only to be demolished; how many escapes were made, and flights up the stairs, his chain rattling after him, to his mistress's room; where any deliberation in admitting him was promptly repented of by hearing a crash, a clatter of mischief perpetrated outside, by way of suggestion to greater haste.
Once she went to take a long sleigh-ride, and left the door of her room unclosed. She returned to it to find that, unknown to the servant, Jocko had broken loose, and held high carnival there during her absence. The carpet was strewn with walnut-shells; a heap of ashes had been poked out from the stove; work, and the contents of the work-basket, lay tumbled pell-mell together, and the author of the confusion was fast asleep in the cushioned rocker.
Another time she had a bad cold. She had been sitting comfortably at work on some delicate sewing for Girlie's trousseau, while she occasionally drank from a goblet some very nice and thick flaxseed lemonade, of which a pitcher-full, also, stood on her work-table. She went down to dinner, and she left her door open.
Before long, the colored woman appeared hastily from the kitchen, exclaiming, "That limb! missus, he's got loose, and gone up to your room!"
It was of no use for anybody in the house to attempt catching him but herself. She flew. She was just too late. Alas! Valenciennes and insertings, puffs and ruffles lay in a soak of the mucilaginous beverage. Jocko had upset the goblet, and now he stood at the side of the pitcher, reaching down into it his long arm for the slices of lemon, which he ate with complacent relish.
We were glad when Spring came again, and the warm, sunny days once more. Jocko went back to his kennel and is there, still, or was, ten minutes since. He has been pretty good all Summer, thanks to his chain; although, even with that, his escapes have been neither few nor far between. He is in the height of one of them at this moment; in full view from my window on the lawn, in a crazy frolic with Schneider, Hugh's fat, yellow puppy. They race after each other, and roll over and over together in an inextricable mix. But that's all right and "don't count." If he takes to climbing up here, I shall have to interrupt his biography and capture him.
We always abound in pets here. In June we went out one afternoon, Hugh and I, for, a long drive on the further bank of the Housatonic, miles distant, into wild solitudes. I would sit reading in the carriage by the shady roadside, while Hugh made expeditions into the woods with his rifle. After one of these he returned, bareheaded, carrying carefully within his arm his cap, full, as I thought, of cotton-wool. But, instead, it was the white down of a nestling hen-hawk; which, obediently, I had to hold in my lap all the way home -- in the cap still, however, as that seemed indispensable to keep him together -- while Hugh drove, bareheaded.
He "raised" the hawk, which grew incredibly fast, and in a month was a full-sized, magnificent bird.
At first, before he could fly, he was kept in a deep open basket. One day this was set out into the sunshine on the gravel -- it was thought beyond the length of Jocko's chain. But he managed to reach it, and pulled it nearer. Then he stood by its side, looking down gravely into it, at the hawk, apparently considering what manner of creature it might be, uttering the frequent brief, hoarse, "Ahem," which is his habit in meditation.
He next proceeded to reach down and feel of it, and he was beginning to pluck it, when we interfered for its protection.
After the hawk grew, so as to fly out of the basket and flutter a few steps, he always went to Jocko. He would nestle close to him, drop down by his side contentedly, and spread hia broad wings basking in the warmth. He submitted, with only an occasional peek at Jocko's ringtail, to be dragged about by the neck in its clasp, and even to be lifted thereby to the roof of the kennel, or into its interior depths. He would shriek if Jocko pulled out feathers, though, and then somebody would go to the rescue; but, even for this indignity, the hawk seemed to harbor no resentment. Poor Uncas! tragic was your fate! brief your career! Better that Hugh had left yon where he found you, a downy nestling, fallen from the aerie in the tall pine! Why didn't you stay civilized and innocent? Why did you permit yourself, day after day, with piercing, splendid eyes and arching neck, to follow the flight of those martens and those chimney-swallows, listening to the instinct that whispered within from your savage origin? When you flew to the top of the great walnut-tree to roost each night, why couldn't you continue to descend to the kitchen-door, mornings, for your breakfast? Wouldn't unlimited raw woodchuck, and such, serve you at home? Why must you take to hovering around, above Sandy Bend, coveting the neighbors' poultry? What made you fly over to Mr. Swissle's, and go for his chicken? That was your undoing. That was why Mr. Swissle shot you, and served you right. We told you so.
Well, Jocko, this has been a long story, and it is the last I shall have the chance to write about you. The Summer is ended. Autumn is here. Already we see the sere and yellow leaf. Soon October frosts will come. We shall gather round the evening fire and boil chestnuts, but not for thee! For thee no more the warm corner by the stove, and an infinite series of home-made wooden cages. Yet grieve not. Other and nobler inclosures, lofty and spacious, await thee in Central Park. There shalt thou rejoin thy species, and, in fantastic rivalry, hold thine own as "the finest specimen in Para."
This happened to Conan when he carried a firelock for the Company. His Commander Tuan Lieutenant, was marching with a troop of soldiers and some coolies from Kota Marabahan on the Banjer River, to a post on the Murung. The Commander had a child with him; a daughter, the substance of his heart, the bright light of his eye; the child of a Malay mother, who was dead; and Ledah, the little girl, was like Umbah, the joy of Tuan, who comes to the house of care. The servants of Ledah were with her, to wait on her, and watch that she got no hurt.
Abduction by an Orang Utan of Borneo
The sun was hot one day, and Tuan Lieutenant said, halt, under some waringin trees, near a stream of water. The soldiers and coolies ate rice, they drank arrack, -- Conan too; and all lay down to sleep, while the sun was hot. But Ledah, silly child, did not sleep; she had big eyes to look into the deep shade of waringin trees; she heard sounds, they were little beasts in the forests; Ledah thought they were beautiful children of the country of the Bekumpay, that is full of devils only; but Ledah must know; must see with her eyes; women must know every thing, Conan says it.
Tuan Lieutenant, and servants of Ledah sleep; she takes off the charpoo, and walks softly with little bare feet, away from the encampment. Ledah walks down where the earth was hollow, the waringin shade is thick; there is a dim light down in the hollow; but Ledah sees beautiful flowers; she fills her hands; the air is still and hot under the shade, she takes off her kabyah and fills it with flowers. Ledah has gathered a great many, and she sits down, at the foot of a great tree, to make some garlands to give to her father when he awakes.
Great eyes are staring at Ledah; eyes of a wild man. He creeps nearer, softly along the ground like a tiger; the wild man does not eat Malays, or Dyaks; but wild men carry off Malay and Dyak girls when they walk outside the campongs. The wild man has come behind the waringin tree; the pretty child is twining her flowers; she is thinking of her papa; he won't he angry because she ran away from her nurse, when she brings such nice flowers; he will take his Ledah in his lap; and she will twine her wreaths round his neck. Aachh! the wild man cries; Ledah is seized; arms of a beast, strong and hairy are around her; and she sees great eyes burning in a hairy, beast face.
Ledah does not faint; she is a Malay girl; and screams as Malay girl can; her screams fill the hollow glen, they pierce through the forest, they ring in the ears of the sleepers on the creek bank, -- in the ears of the father, who cries aloud for his child. Some heard the voice of Ledah very quick; Conan heard the first scream; he ran, all the soldiers and coolies ran; all ran to where they heard the voice of Ledah, -- the substance of the heart of the father, and the joy of the company; they have entered the forest; and hear cries in a tree, -- high up in a great tree-top, they see their favorite in the grasp of a great, hideous orang utan, who springs from limb to limb, -- body of little Ledah no trouble.
Orang utan are strong; far stronger than Malay or Dyak; they carry a big Dyak in one arm, easy like a child; and easily this one, leaped along with Ledah. The soldiers could shoot him; but where would be Ledah? Conan ran to one tree; other soldiers and coolies ran to other trees; some climbed up, and all shouted; and the father shouting out; a thouand rupees, to him who will save his child alive. The orang utan is pressed; he approaches the creek bank; the orang utan always takes to water, when pursued. There is a great tree, it has high limbs, that overhang the water; the orang utan has sprung into this; and Ledah is bleeding, -- her arms and feet are torn, -- her voice is still; she is surely dead; but Conan is in the tree; he sees her struggle again, he climbs swift as the orang utan; others are climbing, coolies are on the edge of the stream; they see above them, on a limb, high up and far over the water, they see the monster, and Ledah; Conan is near; the wild man cries, aachh! looks down, raises up, and springs; Conan after, plunge into the water, -- others have plunged, the creek is full, they have hold of Ledah, the monster bites strong and fierce, he dives, he escapes; but Ledah is safe, and in the arms of her father.
This abduction of the little girl, was a story of which I heard some particulars from officers at Palembang and Minto, and from several persons at Batavia. I heard many different accounts; but have preferred to give you the version of an eye witness. There are many well authenticated instances of the abduction of young girls, who have strayed beyond the safe limits of their village. Ledah recovered from the effects of her fearful excursion in the tree-tops; and is said to be married, and now living near Amboyna.
Conan not only entertained me with stories; but became one of my pupils; -- when the gates were closed at noon, Conan would come; and sometimes at night, he had a chance to get out of his block, and come into mine unobserved; for he was not confined to a cell at night; the fast-riveted iron bands being considered sufficient protection against any attempt at escape of a native; whenever he could thus get away, he would come and sit on the doorstep of my room, and with the docility of Umbah, would listen with simple credulity to whatever was told to him. He had a comrade, a Javanese robber, called Gedeh; another great childlike creature, docile and good-natured, who had warred against a portion of his fellow-beings, from superstition, and with sheer brute unconsciousness of crime.
These encaged wild creatures, had begun to take pleasure in listening, first to the stories, and then to a little reasoning of civilization. In a short while, they did not seem so far off from it; and they wished to come nearer; nearer to the knowledge of the European; and all their brethren would wish to come nearer, even to civilization; if civilization would study their weak natures, and go nearer to them. But I have more to say on this subject, when I speak of the chief representative of the ruling races of the Archipelago. The Java Malay enthusiast who went on a bold journey to Surakarta.
THE MONKEY'S STORYWell, since a story I must weave,
I beg you kind and gracious leave
To tell my tale in humble verse
(Yet, thought I say it, I've known worse.
Permission granted, I'll begin,
And try your honest praise to win.
"My earliest recollections stray
To a dense forest far away
In what is known, I've learnt since then,
As South America, by men.
Here was I born, nor did I pass
My days as now 'neath roof of glass,
But 'mid the palms I used to roam,
And call the tropic forest home.
From tree to tree I used to skip,
And I could get a strong firm grip,
With arms, or legs, or even tail:
Neither was ever known to fail.
"I must have been a few weeks old --
Just getting venturesome and bold --
When first I found that sorrows fall
On living creatures, one and all,
Monkeys or men. It happened thus:
Some half a score or more of us
Had sought a quiet sheltered glade,
And there at leap-frog we had played
Until the day had almost gone.
And friends and parents too looked on,
And praised our leaping it 'twas good;
Or, if we jumped not as we should,
They lectured us with accents stern,
And made our hearts within us burn.
"Then in the midst of all the fun,
Just when the champion prize was won,
A sharp and sudden crack was heard,
And lo! without cry or word,
A mother-monkey fell down dead;
And with a shriek of fear we fled.
Then, turning to look back, I saw
A sight that filled my heart with awe --
A monkey, just a few days old,
Licking the form so wan and cold
That late had cherished it so well!
Ah, how can I my story tell?
How men burst in upon the scene,
Dashing aside the foliage green,
And seized the little weeping one,
And laughed to see the sad tears run
In torrents down its wizened face.
Then, with a jest, they left the place
Taking their prisoner away.
(There, in that cage, he is to-day).
"One morn, in search of something new,
Rambling the tropic forest through,
I and my comrades traveled far,
When lo! we saw a fierce jaguar --
A foe most hostile to our race,
Strong and relentless in the chase --
Crouched on a log and fast asleep.
A consultation long and deep
Revealed a plan that seemed to show
Some shance [sic] of frolic with our foe.
Armed every one with nooses strong,
Made of the creeping vines that throng
The tropic glades, we clambered far
Above the slumbering jaguar;
Then, with a straight and sudden fall,
We dropped our nooses, one and all,
Around the monster stretched full length,
And jerked them tight with all our strength,
And prisoned him -- head, body, tail,
And laughed to see his eyes grow pale,
Then leap and flash with angry fire.
But long before his savage ire
Could show itself by breaking free
From binds too weak for kindly might,
We all, of course, were out of sight.
"Yet once again, while I was free,
The form of man I chanced to see.
Where giant trees deep shadows cast
A company of travellers passed,
And lingered for a while to eat
And rest them from the midday heat.
Their baggage piled up in a heap
Lay near then while they went to sleep,
Leaving one sentry to keep guard.
Believe me, friends, it was not hard
To wait until he turned his head,
And then to speed with silent tread,
And seize a bag and run away
Before the guard had time to say
Whether he'd let it go, or nay.
"Then, chattering and full of glee,
We sought a spot where we might see
What this our treasure might contain.
Something, of course, we hoped to gain;
Some wondrous nectar rich and rare,
Or morsel sweet beyond compare.
Imagine, then, our great disgust
To find, when in the bag were thrust
A dozen eager hands or more,
Nothing to eat, but just a store
Of foolish clothes in which men dress,
And pride them o their loveliness.
But stay! One flask came into sight,
Holding some liquid ruddy-bright.
'It must be good,' we said, and tasted.
What it was like --how it was wasted --
On all these things -- so sad's the tale --
I beg your leave to draw a veil.
I feel, though, I must give one word
To a queer thing we thought absurd,
Wherein each gazed, and brought to view
Another monkey strange and new,
That seemed to smile and nod and bow! --
Believe me, I am wiser now.
"Now comes sad ending to my story!
The sun shone on in all its glory,
The time passed by as time will do,
And day by day I grew and grew,
Until one night sweet sleep I sought,
And woke to find that I was caught.
Man had me in his grasp, alas!
And o'er the seas I had to pass.
The free-and-easy life was o'er;
For me the tree-tops wave no more;
The lion has become a lamb;
Man brought me here, and here I am!
Overheard at a Function of the Tree-top Four Hundred
 Edward Allison Gale. 1910. Society Gleanings. Overheard at a Function of the Tree-top Four Hundred. Puck 66(1714): 10. [Monkey high society gossip]
Mrs. Monkey Did you see that fresh young Miss Chatter? Why, it's positively scandalous! The very idea of her hanging by her tail from the same limb as young Jabber; why, she's positively throwing herself at him! Mrs. Gorilla Yes. Her airs are insufferable, and all because her grandmother belonged to an organ-grinder! The very idea! Just as if her being a charter member of the "Daughters of the Organ-Grinders" made her somebody. Why, she's a flirt, and ---- but there, dear, I won't gossip; but if you only knew; the most awful things ----! Are you going to the Mandrils' grove-party? Well, you ask me then about her; I know you'll be shocked. But, my dear, have you heard about that rich young Ape? Why, he's simply throwing his cocoanuts away, and they say that he was so intoxicated the other evening that he tried to go to sleep in the tree chartered by "The Bachelor Girls' Select Club." Mrs. Monkey Do tell! Simply scandalous; and his mother is always bragging about what a model he is, too! Now, if my Toto should ever do anything like that I could never hold my head up again. But Toto is such a fine climber, and he never gives me the least cause to worry. He is so like his Papa! Mrs. Gorilla Yes, of course, my dear. But goodness! Did you hear about A-ka-choo? You know he has been featuring on the vaudeville circuit and creating the most wonderful enthusiasm. They do say he broke his chain some way several times reeently'arid has been acting up something awful. Then he's so highly educated now that he refuses to go on the stage without his stomach-bitters before and after every act. Isn't it terrible? And he a Von Simian too! Mrs. Monkey Shocking! And his poor wife! Poor, poor Editha! She thought she was getting such a catch when she got him! You know he only allows her four treeaplanes; and then there's that Broiler affinity. I would n't be in poor Editha's place for worlds! He is so handsome, and that kind are such a care. Oh, there's Miss Passe De Monk! Isn't she looking awful? They say her hair is dyed, and I just know she curls her tail. Mrs. Gorilla Oh, I don't believe any of that gossip. But did I tell you, dear, that my Jocko is to marry her during the early summer? Mrs. Monkey Such news. Oh, I must hurry right off and congratulate her. Dear, dear! I didn't suppose anyone ----. It is about time someone took pity on her, and it will be so nice for you to help spend her cocoanuts too. I must positively be going. Day-day, dear.