That one time I held an ape (which is totally not the same thing as a monkey)

Somewhere along the line I missed the mothering instinct.

I don’t see small children and remark on their teeny tiny feet, or how I could just eat them up. Kid antics don’t make me smile, they make me cringe. The thought of one of those tiny jam-handed hooligans making any sort of bodily function near or on me nauseates me.

In summary: children, at least right now, are just not for me.

I’ll tell you what is for me, though. Chimps.

A visit to the Ndawara tea plantation this past weekend was
fascinating, mostly because I knew I’d get to hold a chimp at the end of it. I was willing to fake whatever interest I had to about tea leaves and their tendencies if it meant someone would be hoisting a widdly biddy ape into my arms by sunset.

And they did.

I don’t even have fancy words or funny jokes to put in this post. Don’t expect some sort of wit to come shining through, because for what has amounted to one of the best moment of my entire life, I have nothing pithy to say.

I think I now know what it must feel like to hold your baby for the first time, because looking into Billy’s eyes was like seeing my future, my past, and myself ( and maybe a tinge of God) all at the same time. It was life affirming. Any doubts I have had about absolutely having to work with animals as my career are erased. Any worries I have had about the lifetime I’ve spent studying animals (instead of figuring out how the hell to interact with people) are quelled.

If I could, I’d give five year old Georgia the biggest high five, even though her hands are probably sticky from god only knows what and her clothes are filthy from playing in the creek. She totally called it: animals are the friggin’ best.


2 thoughts on “That one time I held an ape (which is totally not the same thing as a monkey)

  1. This picture is my screensaver, image saved as Iconic Junior. I am really living vicariously through you now. Who loves you? Mom loves you!

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