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Of The Gorillas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Nashiki: Wake up. Wake up, Taboo. The men in the blue uniforms brought us our breakfast.

Taboo: (Yawning) Oh, great. I'm starving! By the way, what are you so excited about? We are only obliged to arise in order to be put on display for another obnoxious crowd. Don't you realize that we are only here to make money for the menagerie? Everyone knows that people come to the zoo to gawk at the gorillas.

Nashiki: I'm excited because it's time to go outside and explore what today brings.

Taboo: All right, let's just get through today. Soon we will be back in our insignificant, cozy lair. I realize this is your first day here, but you'll get used to the routine. We get up at sunrise, eat breakfast, which is the same as lunch and dinner, and put on a show for the tourists. It's okay, though, because it makes the day go by very quickly. All you need to do is interact and acknowledge the people. In about three minutes the first group should arrive. Are you ready to be stared at?

Nashiki: Oh, I can't wait. Do I look good?

Taboo: Don't worry about it. No matter how you look, there will be those who think you are cute and others who always think you are filthy, homely, and repulsive. It is a shame because I know that John, our den-keeper, works very hard to keep us and the cage looking presentable. I can sense his rage when people throw things at us or into the cage.

Nashiki: Are those the humans?

Taboo: Of course they are. Haven't you ever seen people before? They are the ones who keep this place open and who keep food in our dishes.

Nashiki: Look at that one, over there. How dare he point his finger at me! Doesn't he know that it isn't proper to point! Arrgggh! Wait. Now he's laughing. Hey, what are you laughing at? Why can't they understand us? Stop laughing! Hey Taboo, look at his enormous aquiline nose? He looks like he belongs in the aviary with all of our other winged friends!

Taboo: Don't worry about that one. Try to look important for the one over to your left.

Nashiki: Okay, what is that thing he has in his hand? It's really sad that he finds enjoyment in that black thing that he carries around his neck. Before I was transferred in your cage, hundreds of them, every day, used to carry those things with them. They would point it at me. When it became dark, and I saw one with that, I learned to look the other way. It would actually blind me for a few minutes afterwards. So now I don't even turn toward them when I recognize that petite black box.

Taboo: That black object is what you call a camera. Hey, look, that woman is going to throw some food at us, Try to catch it ... Look out! Did she hit you?

Nashiki: Yeah, but I'll be fine. What are you doing now?

Taboo: Watch, and learn how to scare people away. Observe their expressions as I run toward the glass. See, I made all of them flinch. That poor little girl is even crying. That will teach them not to mess with us. From now on, I will ensure that no one will hurt you.

Nashiki: I'm okay. Thanks for protecting me. Look, there's another obese, ugly, unkempt person pointing at you. I didn't know they allowed people in here without shirts. Look at his back! He thinks we're hairy!?

Taboo: I'm glad today is finally over. Just remember not to let anyone irritate you. I wonder if these humans think that we don't know what really goes on. If only they knew! They're here to observe us, but little do

they know we are actually set here to

study them. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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