Indignant Visitor

Almond Eating Monkey

POP! The sound was unusual enough and far too close for me to ignore as I do the bicycle bells, shouts of vendors, and whistle shrieks in the middle of the night by watchmen who then shake down the residents for keeping their neighborhood safe. (And we are on a really quiet street!) I looked up from folding a blanket to find a large monkey (one of several in the neighborhood) eating almonds on our roof deck, having popped open the large, Costco bag of California almonds that was placed on a plastic chair next to a bag being dried in the sun.

I ran at the monkey with blanket in hand, thinking he would run at the sight of me, but he didn’t budge. He knew that I couldn’t do much with a blanket. Instead, he continued to crunch, grabbing almonds at a furious pace, and bearing his incisors at me when I got too close. I yelled at Mark (who was sleeping, oblivious to the sound) to get a long stick of some kind, and he picked up the longest thing we had on hand – a replacement tube light that we’d purchased that morning. The weapon got the monkey to move, but not too far. I had to take the almonds and other things drying in the sun away while Mark held the monkey at bay. He was reluctant to leave a good thing, so he hung around for a while, giving Mark dirty looks, before he climbed up on our roof to settle for immature fruit hanging over from a neighboring tree.

We had brought the almonds for Dr. V, who had claimed they were the best almonds he had ever had when we gave a bag to the Krishnan family earlier this year. We haven’t had a chance to visit Dr. V or anyone else at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Pondicherry, so the almonds were stored in our luggage while we were in Sudan.

Now we have to make sure that we don’t leave anything edible outside and doubly sure that we close our doors when we leave for any part of the day so that the visits don’t become regular.

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