A Million Years Ago... | Teen Ink

A Million Years Ago...

November 17, 2007
By Anonymous

A million years ago, humans began to walk this earth. They changed and came from the monkey, a very similar animal that, unlike a human, was more likely to throw crap than take it. But how did these humans come from such a simple creature?

It was evolution, of course, where slowly, the monkey would change into the more intelligent human. There is a certain, exact point of time where this happens, there the change is complete. Where the monkey begins to question before it eats its banana, why is this banana here? Why is he here? Unfortunately, he never quite gets these answers, and sometimes wonders if the simple life as a monkey would have been better.

But this change, this incredible, magnificent, and monstrous change is also incredibly, magnificently, and monstrously rare. It could be hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of years before this change would happen again. But like many rare things in this world, when it happens, it is wondrous, creating possibly beauty, chaos, or sometimes both. To see something so rare, you would be tremendously lucky.

The people of San Diego; those people seemed particularly lucky.

The animal was born on a gorgeous day at the San Diego Zoo. The sun shined gold, and the clouds swirled and wisped past making shapes of whatever the imagination pleased. Yet it was sunny, it wasn’t exactly hot, or at the least not hot for San Diego. Yes, the weather should put both the people and animals alike in a good mood.

Contradicting this, children whined while pointing at the gift shop, fathers sat around the food courts hoping that perhaps there was a TV nearby, while the mothers angrily dragged them all around the zoo, thinking that at the least some of them were interested in seeing animals. The animals themselves weren’t very joyful, either, as they paced back and forth on the ground they had, with nothing more to do than to wait for the next meal.

Though not many were that interested in seeing the animals, there was one group of animals in particular that got most of the attention.

It was the monkey exhibit.

A crowd surrounded the gigantic cage in anticipation. The hairy creatures swung from what branches they had, while others laid down for a, hopefully, long nap.

But two of these monkeys seemed to stand out compared to all the others.

Their intelligence was obviously higher than any other. The male and female pair sat, working on an average human jigsaw puzzle. After it was complete, they ran over to the ends of the cages. Entertaining the surrounding crowd, they made strange faces and sounds; they loved humans dearly.

Yes, these two always drew a large crowd of tourists, and it is one of the main reasons why the zoo is as rich as it is.

With the birth of their baby, the tourism was just going to continue to grow. They expected much from this baby, being raised by these two highly intelligent performers.

The crowd gathered closer as more people came, noticing that part of the zoo staff was coming into the cage. Now, almost all of the population within the zoo was surrounding that cage.

An oiled eel couldn’t have slipped through the crowd.

It wasn’t long before the new young creature was presented. Like its parents, it brought in a large crowd, not just because it was young and adorable but also because they expected it would be as great, possibly greater, than its parents.

As it grew older, the more and more it learned. Yet strange things began to happen as well. Hair began to fall out, an odd form of walking began, on two legs. Everyone could tell that this animal was extremely out of the ordinary.

Then, on an exciting Thursday, an event happened that greatly changed all scientists’ interests. A young boy was eating his ice cream as he stared out towards the monkeys. He shouted with excitement, something that most young boys do. “Mommy! Let’s look at the monkeys!” he said as he got as close as he could to the cage.

The baby of the two intelligent parents walked towards the boy, and imitating, said in a groggy and unclear voice, “…Monkeys…”

The boy then continued to throw his once wonderful ice cream to the ground, running and screaming in one direction, while everyone else came running and screaming in the opposite direction.

Naturally, this monkey was studied greatly. X-rays were done, chemical analyzes were completed several times a day, food examination was done, psychology appointments were made, brain scans were made, bones were measured.

The psychology appointments didn’t go over too well.

This is mostly because the monkey had a very limited amount of responses, knowing only the words monkeys, food, tree, puzzle, hungry, thirsty, and nap.

For example, as the monkey sat, or at least sat in the most controllable way a monkey could, the psychiatrist would ask “How are you feeling?” while the monkey would respond with “Thirsty.” The doctor would give him a drink, but the monkey would not take it, and asked “I thought you were thirsty?”

“Puzzle,” the monkey responded. The psychiatrist agreed finding this puzzling; and frustrating as well.

Logically, the monkey only had one therapy session.

After months and months of studying, one and final conclusion was made. The only possible answer to this phenomenon is that the monkey was going through evolution. He was developing into, what we can call ourselves, a human. Soon it could broadly communicate and express thoughts. Though, still being considered an animal, he was kept in the zoo.

Many crowds were not fond of this.

Hundreds protested, stating that this was not a zoo any longer, it was a prison.

Media began to interview the manager of the San Diego Zoo, Frank Askiben. They were, to say it kindly, unpleasant interviews.

Askiben was a big simple man. He always carried around a cigar along with his over-sized stomach. All he knew throughout his life was business, and nothing but business. The only reason that he truly managed a zoo was because he thought that zoos were a big money-maker.

Here is one of the calmer interviews with Askiben:

“Sir, sir, Mr. Askiben, if I could just talk to you for a moment?”

“Yeah sure kid, go ahead.”

“Well, about the whole monkey thing…What do you have to say about that?”

“…What do you mean?”

“It’s rights sir, it’s rights! Obviously, this creature is more human than animal, don’t you think it deserves to be free?”

“Free?? Free for what? Look, that thing out there, it’s not functional for a job. It can’t get in a days work, trust me, I would know about a days work. I don’t know whether this thing is human or not, I’m no scientist. All I know is, we own the parents, so I think we own the child. This thing is bringing a lot of money to this zoo, with merchandise and all. We ain’t just gonna give that up.”

Askiben was very open about his beliefs, not even knowing how selfish he can sound.

“But what do you think is more important, the creature’s –“

“Get out of my office.”


“I’m done talking to ya. Get out of my office.”

“Sir, please, if I could just –“

Askiben then threw a book at the desperate interviewer, a hunting book to be exact.

The battle of the creature’s rights raged on with the constant anger.

Some said that if it was released, there would be no use of it. It could barely speak or communicate, and almost certainly couldn’t become a member of society. For it to be released, it didn’t just have to be part human, it had to be completely human.

Others said that the animal must be sad though, locked up inside the terrible cage. That it would be much more joyous if it was set free. That even though it might not be able to get a job or create a career for itself, it would at the least get the human rights that it earned.

Obviously these people never heard the saying speak for yourself, because oddly enough they never questioned the creature how it felt.

But, soon enough, this solution was discovered.

Probably just as ridiculous as bringing the creature into a therapy session, it was also brought into a courtroom several days later.

It was a grand courtroom, to say the least. Three chandeliers hung from the ceiling, one in the back, one to the front right, and one to the front left. The walls and floors were made of antique maple wood, and chairs were with only the richest of cushions.

The jury, of an odd coincidence, was all wearing green suits to the left of the room. Everyone was wearing their finest suits, including the half-monkey half-human.

Throughout the session, the people stated their thoughts and beliefs on the issue once again. They argued for hours on end, and it never seemed to settle; the tension continued to grow. And still, unfortunately, they never asked the creature to speak. He just sat calmly amongst all the towering, red-face, shouting humans. Half of the time, he didn’t even understand what they were saying, so it was easy to ignore them.

Then, finally, someone in the audience spoke out, “Hey why don’t we let the monkey speak??”

This idea was instantly considered preposterous and the man of the room, obviously, wasn’t very educated.

Ignoring everyone but that one, uneducated man, the creature stood up as well as he could stand and spoke as well as he could speak.

“I no want to go away, from zoo.” Everyone instantly went silent, and stared as it continued. “I get food, at zoo. I get naps, at zoo. I get free time, at zoo. I have fun, at zoo. I only know, zoo. I no know the outside, the free, I no think there food, naps, fun there. I want stay where I am. Where I am, I get what I need. What I need, that all I want. I got what I want. I happy, at zoo.”

The rare silence continued for a few more seconds, and then it went into chaos once again. It was obvious that the case was done and was decided, but for some reason people felt that they needed to argue their positions anyway.

But, of course, there was no reason for that. This, monkey or human we do not know, decided for itself to stay at the zoo. It was smart enough to know it had what it needed, and even though it had nothing more, that’s all it wanted. It didn’t feel the need to go on journeys, because its happiness was in a place that was familiar. It had what it needed, it had its happiness, it didn’t feel the need for anything more.

It’s quite possible, extremely possible, that that creature was more intelligent than most of the people in that courtroom.

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