Monkey See, Monkey Do

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

A day at the zoo.

I just finished watching an old Tarzan Movie.  It took me back to the days when the kids in school thought I looked more like a monkey than a girl.  I had a long ponytail.  My name was Jane.  It stands to reason my nickname in the fourth and fifth grade would be Cheata.
I had asked my grandmother where Cheata's lived.  She said she was sure there were some at the zoo.  I wanted to see a chimpanzee for myself.  Grandmother decided to make a day of it.  We spent the morning getting dressed.  When grandmother had the last petticoat ironed so that all the ruffles were strait we put the layers on then the little dress that covered it all up.  We also had to bend over and let her see our panties to make sure the ruffles were laying correctly.  Ruffles on our socks, gloves, and hair ribbons competed the ensemble.  Yes, I did say we were going to the zoo.  If it had been church we would have had hats.
My sister and I loved playing together and found fun in just about everything.  When we got to the zoo we walked, skipped, and bounced around through the elephants, tigers, lions, hippos and finally came to the Apes.  Cages and cages of monkeys took up a very large area.  There were several  kinds of monkeys.  Grandmother was working with my sister trying to get the cotton candy off her dress when I spotted a cage with chimpanzees in it.  I had to check it out.
I was polite.  I watched for a bit.  I waved and made kissing noises.  One little chimp came to the front of the cage and waved back at me. She made a big kissing noise and chatted just a bit.  Another one joined her.  There was a tree branch that ran behind them.  They jumped on the branch and then started to sway back and forth while they chattered to each other.  I tried to mimic their chatter.  I finally got their attention.  My little chimp kept touching her head as she watched me skip back and forth in front of the cage.  I decided it could fun being Cheata.  There was a fencing made from pipes all along the front of the cages about eight feet from the actual cage.  My petticoats were getting in my way too.
I offered the little chimp my gloves.  She took them.  Then I took off one petticoat.  She put it on her head.  She looked like a bride with a veil going down her back.  Another one of the chimps yanked it off of her.  I wanted to help.  I gave her another one petticoat.  She again put it on her head.  I decided I could do that.  I took off another petticoat and put it on my head as I hung from the pipe fencing.
I kept checking the ruffles on my underwear.  Grandmother would not like it if they got smashed.
By the time grandmother had gotten to the cage I was upside down on the pipe fencing chatting with the chimps.  I had a petticoat on my head and three of the chimps did as well.  Only one was wearing the gloves with the ruffles.  Another was wearing socks on her hands, with ruffles... of course.
Grandmother, could not help but laugh. Then she said.  "Monkey see monkey do for sure.  Jane, I knew I could count on you to make a simple trip to the zoo something to remember.  Your mother is going to get a giggle out of this one."
 My sister started taking off her petticoats.  Grandmother had to stop her and hail an attendant over to the cage.  The attendant said he would not attempt to take the 'prizes' away from those chimps.  They could probably be recovered after feeding time or later in the week.  He said taking them away now would cause a chimp war.  She was to check back in just a few days.
"Grandmother, I am a Cheata too.  I was just sharing.  You said we should always share.  I like wearing my petticoat on my head... can we do it again?"
"Not today, Dear.  Your grandmother is ready to go home and report.  How about you play with your petticoat on your head... only at home.  That way no one will think you don't know how to wear one."
The thought that someone would think I did not know how to wear a petticoat made sense.  It was logic.  It worked every time.  Grandmother knew yelling at me would not work.  It had to be logical.
I was holding grandmother's hand.  I looked up and said.  "Besides, I don't always want to be a monkey."  I heard grandmother sigh and felt her give me a gentle squeeze.  We laughed as the chimp with the gloves patted her own head.  The one wearing the socks like gloves played with her.
We watched as the chimps played with my petticoats on their heads.  Swinging through the branches but not one would give her prize up to anyone else.  The boy chimps watched.  I think curiosity got the best of them.
One little boy chimp tried to pull one of them off.  That little girl pooped in her hand (with the glove) and threw the contents at the boy chimp.  My eyes got big.  "Grandmother, look." I pointed at the girl chimp and yelled "yuk."
"That is not a monkey see, monkey do thing."  Grandmother's face told me she felt the same as I did.
"Do you see what revenge does?"Grandmother and I had been discussing revenge when I told her about the kids teasing my sister.  I wanted to pay them back for making her cry.  "The little girl chimp got poop on herself and her fancy new gloves.  The boy chimp just jumped out of the way.  So, who got hurt?" 
"She did."  I thought about that as I watched the chimp, now with poop stains on her gloves.
 "Remember, when we talked about liking yourself?  What ever you decided to do; you need to like yourself when it is over.  When you look in the mirror you need to like who is staring back at you."
"Changed my mind. I don't want the petticoats back."
"No, Dear.  I think we can say goodbye to all of it at this point."
"We have had enough monkey see monkey do for today.  Let us go home."
I mentally thought about the act of throwing poop on some of the kids that had made fun of my sister and made her cry.  By the time we got home I had decided that I did not see a Cheata in the mirror, so I did not have to act like a Cheata.
It was a very good day for learning how not to get even with those who are unkind to you.  It is much easier to work at getting even with those who have helped you.  When I see my grandmother do things for people to help them that is what I want to do.  It is a good monkey see, monkey do thing.
I was also informed by my grandmother that if I ever started taking off my clothes in public again I would have to pick out a switch when I got home.  Little girls do not do that even when they are pretending to be a monkey.

Submitted: May 18, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Texasjane. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



A day with plenty of lessons then! How much of this is factual? All of it? Any of it? :)

Tue, May 18th, 2021 1:57pm


Most of it is factual. The lessons were real. I never again shared my petticoat with a monkey. In fact, I never again had the urge to take my clothes off in public. My grandmother would be proud. I did, however, leave a pile of dog poop in the locker of the guy who made my sister cry. I looked in the mirror and I still liked myself, so I guess it was okay. Furthermore, I never told anyone I had done it. I did get a giggle watching him clean it out. The other kids made fun of him about his lunch stinking so bad. He got to feel what it was like to be made fun of. I have throughout my life found it is much better to try and get even with those who have helped me. It is much more satisfying. Thank you for your comment.

Tue, May 18th, 2021 7:16am

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