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Monkeys: A long-limbed stone-coloured animal leapt forward at the head of the tribe. He was the chief and appeared to be the largest creature of them all. I do not know how many monkeys composed his tribe--possibly twenty or twenty-five. Most of the monkeys bore the signs of mighty battles fought out during the night. Scars, gashes, and open wounds were common sights. He grimaced at me from a tree. The younger creatures were a quaint sight. They were exceedingly nervous when away from their parents yet exceedingly curious. One grey little infant would pucker its face into the queerest wrinkles as it wonderingly watched my early-morning shave. I am sure that, since it was such a frequent onlooker, it has received sufficient lessons to become an adept in shaving technique! The dog was an inveterate enemy of the monkey tribe. So deep was his dislike that in some strange and subtle way he could sense their presence even when they were not visible, as when hidden behind a boulder or up a tall tree, and at once he would emit a series of growls which shook his entire frame, such was their intensity.

Eventually he would leap up, snarling ferociously, and dash or leap towards the offending creatures. Monkeys are tribal animals and very rarely found alone.

The monkey's pink hand stretched itself out to grasp the banana I offered him but withdrew again almost immediately. He was hesitant, dubious about my motives. Could he trust me? He looked appealingly into my eyes. I tried to reassure his timidity.


-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 2: India > # 18






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