Monkey and Chameleon This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 31, 2010
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It was nearly sundown, and Monkey was still scrambling to find food. He was sitting high in the trees, when suddenly he heard something move behind him. He turned to see a bright flash of yellow, but it quickly disappeared. Later, as Monkey was peeling open his banana, he saw the bolt of yellow again. Then, he heard a slithering voice, “Hello.” He turned to see Chameleon, the sneakiest creature in the whole jungle. Monkey knew he should be cautious around him, but couldn’t help but be mesmerized at his disappearing act. He was astonished at how cool the creature was, going unnoticed when he wanted, but visible if he chose. Monkey was jealous. He hated his furry tail, and his tiny ears.
Chameleon knew he could lure Monkey in. In a soft voice, he said, “So, you like my act? You see, Monkey, I can get away with anything I want.”
Monkey glared at Chameleon quizzically. He asked in a curious voice, “So, anything? You have never been caught once?” A strange look passed before Chameleon’s eyes, but Monkey didn’t detect it. Chameleon glanced around to make sure nobody was listening. “No! Of course not. I’m the master of disguise. Follow me, and maybe I’ll let you be my assistant.”
Monkey swung happily in the trees, trying to keep up with Chameleon as he was led to his house. When they arrived, Monkey noticed how beautifully decorated Chameleon’s home was. “Wow! How did you get all of this?” Monkey asked. Chameleon said calmly, “Oh, well I simply borrowed it.”
Monkey was amazed, as if just learning of the word. Monkey asked, “Well from who?”

Chameleon looked around again, as if he didn’t want anybody to hear his conversation. “Everybody. If you want, I could, uh, show you how. Maybe if you’re good at it, I’ll train you. You could eventually steal—I mean borrow for me.” Chameleon slipped, but Monkey was so excited that he hardly noticed anything.
“When can we start?” Monkey asked excitedly.
“Soon. Go home and get rest, because tomorrow, your training begins,” said Chameleon.
As Monkey was walking home, he heard Polly Parrot and Gary Gorilla talking. He caught only parts of their conversation, but this is what he heard:
“Yes, I heard that Chameleon has someone new to take advantage of. Such a shame that he must lure people in as he does."
“I know. I just wish he would leave the young ones alone. I don’t know who he’s taken in this time, but whoever it is, I hope they have the sense to stay away from him,” responded Gary Gorilla, making a disapproving noise.
As they walked off, Monkey was so disappointed. He was upset that he didn’t suspect it earlier. He knew that he should have stayed away from Chameleon, but he was just so entrancing.
As Monkey lay in bed that night, he thought about what he was going to do tomorrow. Should he go and meet with Chameleon? Monkey was so unsure, but suddenly, something dawned on him. What if Polly Parrot and Gary Gorilla were wrong? What if they were judging Chameleon, when they didn’t even know him? Monkey went to bed furious that night, angry with his friends for lying about Chameleon. He knew that Chameleon wouldn’t do anything to hurt him, and even though he did have a reputation in the jungle, Chameleon was nice to Monkey.
The next day, Monkey woke up. He was so excited, and swung all the way to Chameleon’s house. “So what’s today?” Monkey asked.
“Well, I was thinking, maybe we could start at Polly Parrot’s house,” Chameleon replied.
Monkey was excited. He would get revenge on Polly Parrot for talking about Chameleon rudely. “Okay, sounds alright to me.” Monkey started swinging on the tree branches, as Chameleon lead the way, explaining what they had to do.
“Usually, Polly Parrot isn’t home at this time, so we should be safe,” said Chameleon.
Monkey still was unsure, so he asked Chameleon, “But Polly Parrot is my friend! What if she gets mad at me?”
“Oh, don’t worry! She won’t. If she’s truly your friend, then she won’t mind,” Chameleon said softly.
When they got inside, Chameleon’s face lit up with pleasure. “Look at all of these treasures!” He exclaimed. Suddenly, they heard a twittering.
Chameleon spun his head around, and glared at Monkey. “What is she doing home?” Chameleon whispered. “What do you mean? I thought we were allowed to be here!” Monkey responded.
“Well, we are! But…I forgot to tell her we were coming!” Chameleon said. “Hide!” Chameleon scurried over to the wall, and disappeared before Monkey’s eyes.
In spite of what Monkey believed about Chameleon, he was becoming suspicious. Monkey scurried over to the tree branch, and clamored up. When Polly Parrot came in, she looked around, and spotted Monkey’s tail swinging down from the tree branch. She flew up and saw Monkey hiding between the leaves. “Monkey!” She squealed. “Are you—are you stealing? Is that you?”
Monkey stuttered and shuffled, and hopped from branch to branch and out of the house. His heart was fluttering, and he ran all the way home. The next day, while he was walking to find food, he spotted Chameleon in between the branches.
“Hey! Monkey; are you ready to go to Gary Gorilla’s? Remember all of those beautiful things…and for free?” Monkey just kept walking, ignoring the flagrant calls of Chameleon. As he walked away, Chameleon’s cries became more distant, fading away.

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