Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Local Wildlife

One of the problems with showing up late here is that I missed New Staff Orientation. Now, mostly this was a lot of boring meetings, however they did impart some important information that I have been slowly picking up over the week. One such tidbit: Don't Look At the Monkeys...They Are Mean. Who knew that the cute, cuddly brown monkeys (Rhesus, I've learned) are in fact nasty vicious animals intent on swiping anything and everything they can get their greedy little paws on? For example, when in the market, you cannot (well, at least should not) carry anything in a plastic bag. You should put everything in your backpack, because if you carry it in your hands, the monkeys assume there is fruit in there and take it from you. You wouldn't necessarily think that a monkey the size of a cat could forcibly remove something in your possession, but you'd be wrong. They're wiley. My friend Tara had a face-off with one in the market, prodded it a few times with her umbrella, and continued walking...thinking she'd won. About a minute later, the same monkey came racing up behind her and stole her bag! But in addition to being thieves, they're actually quite aggressive and they don't like eye contact. So you're not supposed to look at them, which is really difficult, given that you want to keep tabs on their movements, in case they're thinking of biting your leg. Which is exactly what one did to another staff member several days ago. Just came up and started gnawing on her calf! Once again, umbrella to the rescue, but the darn things travel in gangs and so his buddies chased her down the path a ways. Apparently there are also grey monkeys that are quite docile, but I have yet to meet any of them!
The marauding monkeys are the most common form of woodland creature around, but I've been told there are leopards in the mountains as well. I thought this was a joke--I mean, LEOPARDS, but no, they actually do live in these here parts. They're not interested in humans though, greatly preferring stray dogs for a late-night snack. I'd like to see one, though!
Last but not least in my catalog of creatures are the rodents. Ah yes, my apartment is currently harboring a mouse and my house-mate swears there was a rat in his room. Now, the mouse, while not welcome per se, is not a cause for huge concern. He's quite small and almost cute, provided he stays out of my bed. A rat, on the other hand, IS in fact cause for great concern in my world, as they are much larger and infinitely nastier. By keeping the door to my bedroom firmly closed at all times, I am maintaining the illusion that the rat cannot get in. No one is allowed to disabuse me of this notion. Thank you!


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