APES AND MONKEYS

by Anonymous

"Who was it that pulled my tail?" said the cross old Monkey sitting in the corner of the cage. "I won't have my tail pulled, do you hear? If any one pulls my tail again, I'll—"

"Well, what will you do, Crosspatch?" said a small brown Monkey. "Do tell us; we should like to know." And he threw a nut-shell at the cross old Monkey, hitting him on the nose and making him crosser than ever.

"Ill complain to the keeper," said the old Monkey. "I'll steal all your dinners. I'll—I'll—I'll do something dreadful to you."

"Oh, go along," said the little brown Monkey. "Let's have a game at Touch Tails. You're 'he'!" And he gave a hard tug at the cross old Monkey's tail, then darted away up to the top of the cage, with the old one after him and a number of other small Monkeys after him, giving a pull at his tail every now and then, till he didn't know which one to attack first, and finally gave it up as a bad job, and retired to his corner again, jabbering away to himself as to what he would do, while all the others danced about with delight and swung to and fro on the ropes, chuckling with enjoyment.

"What a noise those Monkeys do make, to be sure!" said the Chimpanzee to the Orang-Utangs. "I really think something should be done to stop them."

"Here comes some of these little men-things!" said one of the Orang-Utangs. "What queer things they are! Are they really relations of ours, do you suppose?"

"I don't know," replied the Chimpanzee, "but I must say they are very poor relations, if they are. Whatever do they put on all those ridiculous things for?"

"Yes," said the eldest Orang-Utang. "And what very short arms they have! I don't believe they'd be any good at swinging about on trees, do you?"

"I'm sure they wouldn't," answered the Chimpanzee. "And then their feet! Do you know they can't use their feet at all for holding on to anything as we can? Isn't it silly? They're so ashamed of them that they cover them up in things they call boots; it must be very uncomfortable."

"Have you noticed what they do with nuts?" said the smallest Orang-Utang. "There was a boy here once who wanted to eat a nut, and he was going to crack it in the ordinary way, when his mother said to him, 'Don't do that, my dear, you'll spoil your teeth!' Just fancy!"

"Ah, but have you ever seen one of the very small men-things?" said the Chimpanzee. "The things they call 'long-clothes babies'! They are the most absurd creatures you ever saw in your life. They are covered with white things (which must get dreadfully in the way), and they can't do a single thing for themselves. They can't walk, and they can't talk, and they don't eat fruits—they just lie still, and sometimes they feebly kick about and wave their funny little arms, and the strange part of it is that their mothers and fathers seem quite proud of them. I'm very glad we're not like that."

"So am I," said the Orang-Utangs. "But why do these men-things wear such a lot of things over their skins?" said the eldest.

"Oh, they don't know any better," said the Chimpanzee. "You know they are not nearly so strong as we are."

"Ah, but they're very artful, some of them," said the eldest Orang-Utang. "I should think if they were caught young, you might be able to teach them to do quite a lot of tricks."

"I dare say," replied the Chimpanzee. "Only I expect it would take a lot of trouble and time."

"I'm glad I'm not a man-thing," said the youngest Orang-Utang. "It must be horrid to have to wear clothes."

"There are those Monkeys again," said the Chimpanzee. "I wonder what they are doing now. They are always up to some game or other. I declare they are nearly as foolish as men."

The Monkeys seemed to be all running after each other, fighting and squabbling, and grabbing at lettuce and pieces of banana, and making grimaces at each other, and scolding away until the Chimpanzee could scarcely hear the sound of its own voice.

"Oh, no," said the small Orang-Utang, who was a kind-hearted little fellow, "they are very foolish, but I shouldn't say they were as bad as that!"

"Well, no, perhaps not," said the Chimpanzee.