Welcome on board R.C Hand

Updated: Feb 27

Raymond is "The NZDream Blog's" new guest writer, presenting to you short stories from all over the world. Raymond has been to 81 different countries.

I am a retired 70-year-old contractor with an AA degree in The Administration of Justice. I thought I might go to law school, but life intervened. I learned the trades working at the side of my father. I worked for him until he retired and I took over the business. I ran the business for thirty-eight years. I worked in thousands of apartments and homes and met many interesting people over the years. I have always written and have several novels on Amazon and in The Kindle lending library. My website with the first chapter of each of my novels and vast travel blog is at cowboyproductions52.com. I reside in Southern CA. with my wife of thirty-eight years. We travel as often as possible and are looking to travel again soon. Below is another story you might find interesting.

The Ape and the Macaque

My mother wanted some lovely finches to watch and to listen to. My father could do most anything and so with my help, we built a cage with a 5 foot by eight-foot large concrete floor and about six feet tall. It was made of two by fours and chicken wire with a corrugated fiberglass roof. It sat in a corner where two fences came together in our backyard.

Somehow, when we came back from buying the finches, we came back with a very young male, Rhesus Macaque, instead. He was the size of a full-grown, slender cat. I named him "Monk" of course. I was sixteen at the time.

I agreed to take care of the creature and do whatever was necessary to keep him in good condition. This is after the "Donkey incident" by the way. My parents were trusting, if not wise.

Do you have any idea what time a Rhesus Macaque rises for breakfast in the morning? I didn't either until I had one. They are early risers, to be sure. I would trudge out through the cold and damp grass every morning and supply him with a wonderful assortment of fruits, vegetables, and mealworms. It didn't take long for me to tire of this, I must say.

We had become close chums, as we would sit together for long interludes of conversation and groom each other daily. It helps to build the strong bonds that primates need to feel loved and nurtured. He made me feel that way, anyway.

He was a little ungrateful as I look back on our time together. I was just a source of food for him, perhaps.

He would often escape and turn the neighborhood into a mad rush of children with brooms and shovels running down the streets. When I reached home after he had escaped each time, the children of the neighborhood looked like the villagers in the Frankenstein movies. They would have a wide assortment of gardening tools that they had gathered to try to corral him.

Dogs and cats were his favorite targets of his rage or interest, one might say if trying to say a kind word in his defense.

I would simply place one of those webbed aluminum yard chairs out in front of my home where he could see me sitting and he would come to his ape brother in a mad dash, hoping to be groomed..

I caught him easily. It was a sly trick and I do feel bad about that now.

Once my mother let him in the house rather than let him run through the neighborhood and perhaps harming a young child or two. That was a mistake on her part.

He was very intrigued by the inside of our home and looked over most of it at a fast run and then climbed all the drapes with dog food in his hands for a "better vantage point." He also relieved himself on the windowsills. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

My mother finally used a broom and somehow convinced him to go into a closet and she locked him in there until I came home from school. Do I need to say that she was not happy? Probably not, but I will say in her stead. She was not happy. After a few of these adventures, I placed him on a strong chain inside of his cage.

This was around 1968 and at the time, all sorts of wild animals were available at the local pet store.

My adventure with this friend of mine was short-lived, as you might have guessed, but it was a fun and deep relationship while it lasted.

These lovely animals live around the same length as a human and grow nearly as large as a chimpanzee. They are good friends as long as the food arrives on time.

Monk had a fascination with birds of all types and was very interested in getting one in his hands to examine. He would hoot and scream whenever one flew close overhead.

Our dog also soon learned not to walk within range of his hands, which could reach out through the wire mesh of his cage and grab a handful of fur. He didn't like female humans much either, and several of my female friends lost a few chunks of hair if they got too close to him. He was picky about his human buddies. It seems that I was his favorite.

My neighbors were not impressed by him in any way and we're glad to see him leave after a few short months.

My mother and I had a talk about Monk one afternoon after I came home from school. She was done. She did have some patience with me at times, but not with Monk. My father remained quiet as we talked. He was a prudent man when necessary.

So off Monk and I went back to the pet store, where we said our last goodbyes.

We hugged each other while he looked for worms in my pockets. It was a sad ending to a short friendship between cousin primates.

I'm sure the store sent him back to where he came from, first class.

That's what I would like to believe, anyway.

He would be around sixty now and is probably lying on a beach right now reading the newspaper and drinking a banana daiquiri as his grandchildren frolic in the surf. His working life was now long behind him and he gladly retired from disturbing the human neighbors living around him.

For more short stories please follow the link to "Short reads" tab


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