APES AND MONKEYS
"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
"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
"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!'
"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
"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.