Thursday, March 23, 2006

An Attempted Mugging

Okay, okay, I know everyone is probably sick of monkey stories but this one is short and way too important to skip. It fully illustrates and gives credence to the amount of fright I feel whenever I see one of the nasty creatures lurking in a tree or stalking along the side of the road.

Two evenings ago, my housemate Courtney was returning to Mt. Hermon after a brief shopping foray to the Bazaar. Her backpack was full so she had (albeit foolishly) tied a bag of grapes onto the outside of her bag. She noticed a crowd of monkeys around the gate at the entrance to our house, but vowed to walk firmly and confidently through them. This plan was going well right up until the moment when a large Rhesus monkey launched itself off the fence and onto her backpack. It was trying to get the grapes, not actually attacking her, but I’m sure that mental distinction is rather difficult to maintain when there is a huge, possibly rabid, monkey clinging to your back. Courtney screamed, shook from side to side (much like a wet dog), managed to dislodge her would-be mugger, and ran for it.

We are all very shaken by the experience.

As a related side-note, we received an e-mail today from the Assistant Principal informing us that a team of Monkey Catchers (his words) had arrived on campus to round up rogue monkeys and transfer them to another location elsewhere on the mountain. Whenever the beasts get too numerous, they undertake relocation schemes, none of which really work because the monkeys always come back. But at least we should have a few weeks of relative peace, safe from the Monkey Menace.


At 10:32 AM, Blogger Rhonda said...

Hi - I've left a comment on your site once before but I don't know if you saw it. I'm an alumnus of Woodstock - class of '98.

I totally understand your fear of monkeys. I had one bat at my leg while growling when I was trying to walk up to Midlands from Alter Ridge. A beraji saved me by scaring the monkey away. It was one of those occasions where I thought I would try to walk confidently past the monkey and it didn't work so well. The friend who was with me chose wisely and ran. Traumatic experience.

Or you're walking peacefully along the path and you round the corner and there sits a rhesus monkey (or ten). That flight response is quite overpowering. You try to fight it, but the monkey can sense your fear. Do you run forward, back the way you came, pretend you don't notice it, or turn around and slowly walk away? There are no good options. It depends on what kind of mood the monkey is in as to if your decision is a good one or not. They need a class in monkey psychology and how to best avoid confrontation. Or something... :)

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Preya said...

I'm glad they're going to have a team of "monkey catchers"; I remember being scared to death of the creatures as well. They are very threatening, and it's not funny at all when you're alone and have to walk past them.


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