The bond of friendship is more important than species
|I just don’t understand people. They’re always butting their noses into my business. All we’re trying to do is to make a living. There’s no great crime against nature going on here, it’s just a guy and his monkey. A little accordion music, a few tricks, what’s the harm?
The kids love it - who doesn’t love a playful, little monkey? People groan about the accordion, but the truth is everyone loves that cheesy instrument as it wheezes out a tune. They love the amazingly lifelike balloon animals. Well, amazingly lifelike if you ask for a snake, or a worm, or something without any legs, or a head, or any other kind of distinguishing features. It doesn’t matter, kids have great imaginations.
But people just have to stick their noses in where they don’t belong. They’re do-gooders who see a working monkey and automatically assume it’s some kind of animal abuse and they have to stop the exploitation. It’s not like that, though. It’s not like that at all. I mean, we’re buddies. There’s no exploitation, just love.
It happened again today. We had a big crowd down on Washington Avenue. They were all clapping and singing along. There was a little girl in a polka dot pinafore who was dancing and twirling to the music. Adorable. We did a few tricks - disappearing cards and the hokey stuff like that. Everyone was having a great time and the hat was filling up fast. And we weren’t just getting a few coins dropped in, there were actual bills waving at us over the brim.
Then someone had to go and ruin it. Probably someone from one of the apartments above the street called because they didn’t like the noise. All I know is that one minute we were having fun, and the next minute Animal Welfare was there with their nets and collars and cages.
If anyone were really concerned about animal welfare, they would never call these guys. They lack finesse, if you know what I mean.
So, that’s why I’m here at the zoo. It’s the logical place to go if you’re looking for a monkey in the city. Henry is bound to think they brought me here, so he’ll be looking in the monkey cages. What he doesn’t know is that I gave those Animal Welfare guys the slip. Luckily, that wasn’t hard, they don’t seem too bright. For all I know, they’re still driving along, thinking I am in the back of the truck.
Now, I just have to keep a low profile until I find Henry. It’s not easy because every time I get anywhere near the monkey enclosure, they all start jumping around and chattering at me.
“Hey guys, you know, if I could get you out of there and take you with me I would,” I tell them. “But you’re blowing my cover, so cool it.”
And there he is, still wearing the funny marching band uniform jacket - the one that matches mine - with all the shiny buttons and gold epaulets. I would never tell him this, but while the jacket looks amazing on me, Henry looks a bit silly in it. Poor guy, standing there in that ill-fitting jacket, hauling that accordion around on his chest everywhere he goes. But look beyond that pathetic image and see what I see when I look at Henry.
He’s my buddy. He will never run off and leave me. He’s here trying to find me, even though there’s nothing he could do to free me if I were in one of those cages. He’d probably get himself arrested if he tried.
Henry and I, we have something together. Sure we got love, but we have something even bigger than that.
We have an act. We have a duty to our audience. The show must go on.
So, I will get Henry’s attention and then we’ll sneak out of town and go on to the next show and the next show. The guy needs me. After all, I‘m the one with the talent.
But, just for fun, I’m going to slip the big ring of keys that I just lifted off that security guard into the monkey cage before we go.