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India's Sacred Monkeys

India's Sacred Monkeys image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

An Engliab gentleman who has lived many yeara in India tells some queer storifs about the sacred monkeya t)iat are a great nuisanee in some parts of that country. No one is allowed to molest them. They run about the streets, help themselves to whatever they picase at the shops, rob orchardfi and gardons. and play havoc generally. To thrash thoni is regarded as a misdemeanor, and to shoot a monkey might cause a second mutiny. The gentleman had a garden where grew delieious fruite. The sacred monkey s easily scaled the walls and helped themselves. They were not content with simply eating, but amused themselves with throwinghalf-munched fruit at each other. To shoot these pests was out of the qurstion, and to hit them with Etonea was impossible, as they easily dodged any missile that might be thrown at them. An idea struck the Englishman one day, and he at onee proceeded to carry it into effect with great success. He got a large basket of the largest potatoes that were to be found and liad thcin boiled. When they were scalding hot he had basket and potates placed under one of the trees. The monkeys were watching1 these movemcnts from the trees. Presently every monkey seized a hot potato, and then followed the most unearthly screeches and chatterings. A monkey will never let go any article of food that that he once gets hold of, even if he has to die, and these monkoys. triue their nature, would not drop the hot potatoes. They held them in one hand and then in the other, and then they would take a bite and scald their mouths, and roll in the, writhing with pain, but never letting the potatoes once out of their grasp. They ate up the potatoes and then disappeared ovor the wall and never returned. The Englishman once witnessed a very pathetic, as well as heroic, scène in one of the city squares, in which the sacred munkeys were the actors. He saw a number of monkeys seated and Standing in a iarge circle. and a female monkey hugging and w uil ing over the dead body of her baby that had been killed by a cobra's bite. The other females were trying to console her by earesses, hile the males appeared to be in earnest consultation among themselves. In the center of the circle was the large cobra that had inflicted the fatal bite, coiled and with head erect, watchin the enemies by whom he was surrounded. Suddenly a young and athletic male monkey sprang into the arena. He carefully approached the cobra, which prepared itself to strike. The monkey made a few passes, and just as the snake was about to dart its head he sprang to one side, and then over the cobra. This was repeated so often and with such astounding rapidity that the cobra became bewildered, when the monkey seized the snake by the neck and proceeded to erush its head to a jelly by it on the ground with all his mig-ht. The snake tricd to free ltself by aronnd the monkey's neck, but in vain: its struggles becarae weaker and weaker until life was extinct. When the snake's head had been reduced to a shapeless raass the youngsimian hero dropppd the cobra and executed a series of hops and somersaults. Up to that moment the other monkeys had maintained the most anxious silence, watching every movement of the combatants with eager interest. The snake's death. howcver, was the signal for the most joyous ehatterinps and gambols. They took hold of the conqueror of the snake. patted him on the head, scratched his back, danced around him and gave every manifestation of their great appreciation of his valorous achievejnent. The poor mother carried about her dead babe for two days longer.-


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier