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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The unbelievable Maurice the monkey

There is quite an extraordinary sequel to this story. No, I lie. It was fantastic. Unbelievable – or at least parts of it were, or are, as you shall see. Believe me.

   On the very day the rollator story appeared on my blog, as the witching hour approached, there was a scuffling sound on the front verandah, and a tiny ting of the bell, but silence reigned soon after.

   We have become somewhat familiar with these sounds. Often, a mysterious gift appears as if by magic, and this time was no exception, except in its extravagance.

   An orphan had appeared on the doorstep. I say "orphan" because he was at least as much an orphan as Paddington Bear; but in appearance he was not like Paddington Bear, being as he was a monkey and all. Something of a cross between a chimpanzee and a spider monkey, I felt, which may be the reason he was rejected by his mother. Or, dare I say it, he may have been the issue of an illicit relationship between parents of these different species.

   Or maybe he was just a super-fit rhesus monkey. There is some evidence for the latter, as you will see. Let's just call him a monkey.

   Not only was he a monkey, he seemed not the least perturbed about turning up. He had a devil-may-care face, a veritable wardrobe of clothes, and instructions.

   That's right. Instructions. They were clear enough, but slightly puzzling. For a start, although taken as a whole they suggested quite an active lifestyle, Maurice, as he was named by his obviously highly literate mother (we forgive the spelling of pyjamas as it's not the easiest of words), was remarkably inactive, as you see below.

   It was rather like he was pining for the fjorests, in fact, if not the mighty fjungles. He was as inert as argon, helium, xenon, radon, neon and krypton put together.

   (As an aside, I had forgotten about krypton being an inert gas till I looked it up you-know-where. What a sissy is Superman that he gets bowled over by the product of an inert gas?)

   "He doesn't do much," I said as I put him in the 'stroller'.

   "Apparently not," said Tracey. "You're going to look a right berk walking down the street with him if he can't even wave at our friends."

   I had to agree. But being people of goodwill and with Christmas Day less than a fortnight away, we took Maurice in.

   "I wonder if his name's pronounced Maureece or Morris?"

   These are things Tracey is sure to know. She looked thoughtful.

   "Maureece, I'm guessing. He has something of a cavalier look about him that suggests the great Maurice."

   She wasn't as sure as I expected, but she loves those dastardly Frenchmen, so it figures.

   In the days that followed, leading up to the celebration of the Birth of our Lord, a strange pattern began to emerge. Maurice was not as inert as he appeared to be. He was never quite in the same place when we came back to him, or when I went to walk him.

   This was eerie, in a really eerie sort of way. Each time we came back to him, he was in a slightly different position, as if feigning his status as a mere child's plaything, but not quite succeeding. Was he one of Dr Who's fearsome Weeping Angels, a shape-shifter? Maybe not. We didn't die when we looked away, and I don't want to strain your credulity too much now.

   By setting up cameras to detect movement when we were out, we discovered an amazing thing. Unbelievable, as I warned you at the start. Behind our backs, Maurice was leading a double life, one of activity beyond our wildest imaginings.

   No wonder he appeared so knackered each time we observed he had altered his bearing. Can you imagine the sheer willpower it takes for a critter to do all this stuff and have no evidence of a skeletal structure?

Daytime wear - exploring the wilderness
Evening wear - expecting Patsy and Edina
Pyjamas - a spot of research before sleep
Adventures - pullups on the benchpress
   On reflection, I suspect his mother, or guardian, was not heartless at all, but a creature of incredible generosity, who probably, with buckets of tears, gave up her precious baby to be a walking companion for me. We will continue to nurture him and allow him his pastimes, with gladness in our hearts and thanks to his parent – and we have a pretty damn good idea who she is.

Secret cameras expertly set up by Tracey James


  1. What can I say but Wow! Truly incredible Denis! Unbelievably...gorgeous. Hope we hear more of the Amazing , the Incredible, ze Debonaire, Maureece

    1. Thanks, Debbie - I'm just fuming that spammers are now hitting my blog at the rate of at least one per second. Now checking to see in the hateful 'prove you're not a bot' is now invoked. First test says not yet invoked.

    2. Firstly the mother type did NOT ring the door-bell. Ninja's are silent creatures after all.

      Secondly the adventuresome lad was named after Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees.


    3. Ahh - that was another person - of course the D-Ninja wouldn't ting the little bell. I think the bell-tinger was the Ballerina. She knows who she is.

      Maurice Gibb? How could I not guess that? We'll put in a correction. Were you surprised that we caught Maurice on camera, thanks to my wife's ingenuity?

  2. Outstanding! BTW, for enjoyment of 'spam':

    1. I don't like spam, except with ice-cream and mayonnaise.

    2. [That was me, seeing if word verification was enabled. seems not yet.] Denis – trying again....

    3. Yes! Works after Google logout. Only one miserable sneaky spammer so far today.... :) Denis.

  3. LOL.. I am going to read this to my 3 girls as a bed time story.

    1. Terrific! On iPad? Make sure you do it with your best Stephen Fry expression [cf. the Harry Potter books! I don't think it will be quite as demanding.

  4. Fwiw, we cretinous Yanks spell the word "pajamas". We probably pronounce it incorrectly, too. ;)

    Just popping in to wish you a Happy New Year, Denis (and Tracey!). It's just past 1a.m. Monday morning here, so it should be closing in on midnight for you?

    I'm glad we've had you around for another year, with your good humour & great stories. Praying/crossing fingers/etc. for yet another year.XXXOOO

    Pegs. :)

    1. Dear Pegs – there are no more nor no fewer of the cretinous types in the USA comparatively speaking than anywhere else, and I'm sure Dee will agree – as I do – that most changes to spelling made by the American lexicographers make good sense. But that doesn't stop us clinging to our determination to be right!

      Many thanks to you for your cheer and friendship on the Twitter trail throughout the couple of years I've been on it. Texas, rather like Kansas, doesn't seem quite that far away [nor Oz for you?] And yes, even with "Look what they've done to my brain, Ma!" on behalf of us both, my hopes are for you to have a 2013 of fulfilment [fulfillment!], and that not too many crashed hard drives and system failures are brought to you by people hoping for the impossible. XOX


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