22 June 2016

The monkey that spoke English- short story

Here's a little tale. Of a creature with a tail.

I found a monkey and named him Puttu.
Actually he found me.
In a train.
The train was about to pull out of the station when a furry bundle hurled itself on me and clung to my neck.
My first instinct was to jump up and brush off whatever it was that had latched onto me.
A little baby monkey fell to the seat and gazed at me with doleful eyes.

Wonder of wonders.
I looked out of the window to try and hand him back to his mum. There was no other monkey in sight. I looked at the other passengers for help on the issue. Everyone shrugged. A man told me to 'dump the creature' onto the platform.
In the meantime the little fella slunk out of sight and sat hidden behind my back.

I resigned myself to taking him home with me.
My home. A sprawling quarter acre piece of land with an old style house which would need to be pulled down soon. It had been built a 100 years back and had stayed in my family since.
I lived here with my husband, daughter and our pets.
2 dogs, a cat and a few hens.

What would happen if I added a monkey to the mix? I had to wait and see, didn't I?

My husband groaned when he saw me arrive, a suitcase and a new creature in tow. I had a penchant for bringing home strays and after that it usually fell to the practical person in the house to drop off the newcomer to the RSPCA.
 My daughter squealed in delight. 'Will it bite?' This had always been her first question when faced by a new animal. "Hasn't tried to bite me yet,' said I not meeting my husband's eye.
I put him in an empty bird cage in the backyard and rushed to the shower.

Later that night after my daughter was in bed, I was taken to task.
'How could you bring a wild creature home, what if he has some disease and infects us all?'
'He clung on to me and wouldn't let go. I had no choice,' I  replied lamely.
'We'll see what to do with it tomorrow,' he spoke with finality. I had nothing to say.

The next morning I sauntered into the kitchen to make my morning cup of tea and heard my daughter talking to someone in the backyard.
The excitement of the previous night must have woken them early I thought and looked out of the big picture window. Her father was nowhere in sight.
She was talking to the monkey and despite our instructions had taken him out of the cage and held him gently on her lap, as she sat on the wooden bench. The monkey was answering her questions.

My eyes popped out of my head and I ran out to check. I must be hallucinating.

The little creature was actually talking, same as you and me and was speaking in English, clean and unaccented.
I could have simply asked him where his mum was instead of bringing him along with me, I thought distractedly, another part of my mind wondering if I had gone raving mad.

'How did you fall down and how come the fall didn't wake you up? someone was rudely shaking me by the shoulder. I opened one eye and saw my husband looking at me as I lay bundled in my quilt on the floor, next to the kingsize bed.
'It can speak English,' I said.
'Who, what?
'The monkey, it can speak in English,' couldn't he understand, how daft of him.

The silly man burst into peals of laughter. My daughter sat up in bed rubbing her eyes. I sat up, my quilt still around me and looked at them trying to look as dignified as possible in the given circumstances.