As I was cleaning through my old journals, I found this story. I wrote it a couple years ago, and although it’s not the written that well, I think it’s kinda cute. So, get ready for a lot of monkey business!
It was a warm spring morning. The sun was shining and not a cloud was to be seen in the deep blue sky. Rachel coasted down the block in her gray minivan, listening to her children’s banter coming from the back seat. The voices of the newscasters for the local news station floated through the car, though Rachel only listened with half an ear. A couple of robberies, a new mall in Brooklyn, a forest fire, the usual. Rachel’s ears perked up, as the newscaster mentioned a story about a monkey that….
Rachel never got to hear what happened to the monkey. As soon as her kids heard the word monkey, they went bananas(pun unintended). They were obsessed with monkeys. Personally, Rachel wasn’t such a big fan of the creatures, but her kids went crazy over them.
“Mommy!” Sara yelled from the back of the car. “A monkey! They said that they like monkeys! Right, Mommy?”
“Ma!” Moishy chimed in. “Can we get a pet monkey? My friend Dovi has a pet parrot, so why can’t we also have a cool pet?”
Rachel took a deep breath, and glanced at her children in the rear-view mirror.
“Kids,” she said as calmly as she could. “I know you love monkeys, but we are not getting a pet monkey, whatsoever. We can go and get a fish-tank with goldfish, but we will not get a monkey. ”
Just as her four little munchkins were getting ready to protest, Rachel pulled up at Bnei Yakkov.
“Goodbye, Moishy and Benny. Have a wonderful day!” Rachel forced herself to sound cheerful as two grumbling boys tumbled out of the car.
Rachel maintained her happy disposition until Sara and Yocheved were dropped of at Bnos Hinda.
“They’ll be talking about monkeys all month!” she muttered. “How in the world will I be able to manage with monkey talk for even a week?”
As she sped down the avenue towards her office, the story of the monkey came up again.
A monkey had escaped from its cage in Prospect Park Zoo, and the zoo employees were looking for it everywhere. Anyone who had information regarding the monkey should tell the manager. If somebody were to find the monkey, they would be rewarded.
Rachel turned of the radio and sighed. She was actually glad now that her kids had only heard the word monkey, and not this story. If they did, they would be convinced that it was a present from Hashem – they would find the monkey, and keep it, or use the reward money to buy a monkey.
Rachel parked her car and walked purposefully into the doctor’s office where she worked as a receptionist. She was hoping to take a little break from all that monkey business, but her plans were to no avail. As soon as she greeted Dr. Bloom, he asked her if she’d heard about the monkey yet. Without waiting for a reply, he launched into a detailed report of the entire story.
When she escaped to her desk, her co-worker was mumbling to herself about how crazy it was that animals could escape from their cages.
“This is ridiculous! They need to make stronger bars!” Batya nearly shrieked. “Monkeys are dangerous!”
As the patients filed in, the story of the missing monkey revolved around the small waiting room.
“Did you hear?’ Mrs. Katzenellenbogen asked as she leaned against the desk. “A monkey escaped from the zoo! Mamesh (totally) unbelievable! In my days,” she continued, “the fences were so strong, a lion couldn’t break through them. And you know how strong a lion is. Oy, this is gevaldik! In my entire life, I never imagined this! We need Moshiach so bad! Daven, Rachel’e! Then monkeys won’t escape zoos and scare old ladies like me! Oy, Hashem! A monkey! What can be worse then those brown creatures that swing of trees and pull your shaitels (wigs) off?! I’ll tell you, when I was a little maidele (girl), my Mame (mother) was walking through the forest with me, and we saw a monkey. Its tail almost touched her head! Rachel’e, watch your shaitel and your kinderlach(children)! This monkey is bad news!”
Rachel nodded and sighed with relief when Mrs. Katzenellenbogen left the desk and settled down in a blue, plastic chair to say tehillim (psalms).
When Rachel arrived home after a long day of work, her husband, Gershon, greeted her with the question she’d been hearing all day.
“Did you hear about the monkey?’
Rachel couldn’t stand it. With a curt ‘YES!’, she made her way into the kitchen and prepared supper. Spaghetti and meatballs were on the menu today. But when Moishy, Benny, Sara and Yocheved sat down to eat, they designed the food to look like monkeys. Rachel muttered something about not feeling well and stomped upstairs to her bedroom. She found that her children had decided her wallpaper was to plain, and they had decorated the walls with monkeys swinging from large trees in a forest.
A monkey shaped paper lay on her bed. It read:
We hope you like our monkey pictures. We worked very hard on them, and we want to find the monkey that got lost. Cuz’ then we could have a pet monkey. Tatty said he’s gonna help us and if we find it we can get monkey sheets for our beds. We love you, and pleeeaaaassssseee help us!
Love, Yocheved, Benny, Sara and Moishy!!!!!
Rachel crumbled up the paper and tossed it into the nearby garbage can.
She marched downstairs and looked directly at her children.
“I told you already: we are not bringing a monkey into this house. Monkeys belong in the zoo, not in peoples houses! So stop with this monkey business, okay?!?!?!”
Moishy froze, and held the ketchup bottle mid-squirt above his plate. Yocheved gasped, and Benny looked shocked. Sara pasted an ‘I-told-you-so’ look on her face, and continued eating her meatballs.
Glad that her message had finally reached their ears, Rachel headed to the couch with a new book and settled down to read…about a family with a pet monkey.
“I can’t get away from this stuff!” she groaned. Dumping the novel on the recliner, she headed to the kitchen to clean up from supper. The kids were playing in the backyard, and Gershon was learning in his study. She turned on some music, and rolled up her sleeves. She was about to scrub a really dirty plate, when she realized she’d turned on the news by mistake. And blaring through the speakers was the story of… the monkey! By now, the monkey had been found and Rachel found herself breathing a sigh of relief. Her children would be disappointed, then forget about this whole thing.
They were terribly disappointed, but they didn’t forget.
Rachel’s birthday rolled around a few weeks later. Her family planned a surprise birthday party, which was amazing. Just as the party came to a close, Gershon pulled out a box and told her to open her present. Rachel cautiously opened the large box, and found…………….. A MONKEY!!!
Well, I hope that even if you don’t especially like monkeys you enjoyed this story!
Monkey Fact: Monkeys are junk freaks and would go for junk food before a banana.