Monkeying Around

October 1, 2008
By Noa Monheimer, Portland, OR

Oh my god! The thought came to mind, as I looked though the screened window to my parent’s tent. There was a vervet monkey on their bed! I figured out vervet monkeys could open tent zippers the hard way! My grandma and I were sharing a luxury tent that had a complete bathroom with a shower and the floors weren’t tent floors but hardwood! My parents were also sharing a tent like the one that my grandma and I were sharing at Tortilis Camp, in Amboseli National Park, in southern Kenya. We were told upon arrival at Tortilis that monkeys were very clever, aggressive, and mischievous. We were also told that they were always ferreting for food around the tents. Our tents had center zippers and two side zippers to prevent monkeys from getting in. Obviously, this didn’t work so well. Clearly, nobody told the monkeys they couldn’t enter the tents.
I did not want to go into the tent with that monkey inside. I looked around to see if anybody else was around. I remembered the bright blue cloudless sky. The wind was barely blowing. The smell of all the lush and vibrant plants was in the air. After scouring the area it was clear to me that there was nobody around. Then I thought about running back and telling my grandma, but then I thought what is she going to do? Give the monkey lipstick? And decided I was on my own. There was only one thing left that I could do. Go in and scare the monkey out.
The decision to go in took a lot of courage but I decided to do it. I went in, but I left the tent door flap open, so that if and when I scared the monkey out, it would have a place to escape. I started jumping noisily, clapping my hands vigorously, and yelling loudly at the monkey to get out. None of that worked. All it did was scare the monkey under the king size flower printed bed. I stood there for a few seconds paralyzed and stunned. I didn’t know what to do next. I could hear the monkey under the bed fidgeting with something. Whatever it was, the monkey was making a lot of noise with it. Figuring that the monkey was occupied I took a deep breath and hoped that my parents would soon be coming back to their tent.
The tent was big so I would have plenty of room to run to get the white and brown vervet monkey out. I was very glad that the room was as big as it was. The room had lots of netted windows, all wood trim, and many vibrant colored rugs. I could feel anxiety running through my body. I was so terrified because what if the monkey had rabies and what if it bit me? What if it was so scared that it wouldn’t come out? Where would my parents sleep? I had to figure out what to do next.
I couldn’t take it anymore, waiting for my parents to come back. I had been in the tent for what had seemed like forever. I just told myself that I would eventually get the monkey out and that everything would be okay. Somehow though, I still didn’t feel any better. I was listening very intently to what the monkey was doing in case it made any sudden sounds or movements. While I was listening I could also hear the wind blowing harder outside. I was thinking to myself, why did my family have to get the tents that were right next to the vervet monkey’s home? Why me?
I finally came to the conclusion that the monkey wasn’t going to move so I ran around the bed while clapping and that worked! The monkey ran out of the tent! Then I made sure to zip the tent back up.
“Finally!” I exclaimed to nobody but myself. I decided to sit on my parents’ bed until they came back just to make sure no more monkeys got into the tent! I sat on the bed drawing, in my journal but looking up every few seconds to make sure that there were no monkeys coming back. After about ten minutes of looking up every few seconds, the monkey was walking back to the tent with three of its friends. I rolled my eyes, jumped up, and started yelling and clapping until they finally ran away. I was shaking and almost in tears waiting for my parents to get back. I wasn’t in the mood to scare away any more monkeys! Vervet monkeys weren’t cute anymore.
I went back to drawing until I heard hissing. I stood up and walked towards the door and was terrified at the sight I saw. There were now eight vervet monkeys walking towards my parent’s tent! This time I screamed to scare them away and make absolutely sure they didn’t come back. The scream didn’t work as well as I would have liked it to, so I had to do some clapping, also. Why did my parent’s tent have to be the one being attacked by monkeys? Then I remembered that vervet monkeys are always looking and smelling for food. After enough clapping they finally they wandered away.
I really couldn’t take it any longer. I just flat out decided to stand in front of the door flap. After about five minutes of standing my legs were getting tired so I went to sit down. I was so angry with my parents. What were they doing? Why was it taking so long?
About five minutes later I saw my parents approaching the tent. When they saw me my mom asked me, “Noa, what are you doing in our tent?” I didn’t answer. I just glared back and in my most powerful and determined voice said,
“You guys owe me big time!”

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!