Uncomfortably Close Baboons: Part III

(You can also read about Part I and Part II if you're interested):

Alyssa and our family just returned from 5 days on the Kenyan Coast for an East African retreat for World Harvest Mission, the agency that we are applying with to go to Burundi, with whom we will hopefully be approved in late September, after we get back. It was a really great chance to get to know some very quality people, and we look forward to working with them in the future. We are even more excited about working with this agency after this experience.

But this post isn't about that. It's about monkeys.

The group of beach cottages where we stayed has the most impressive local monkey population I have yet encountered. We saw some of the seasonal residents there putting plates of food out for them, which may explain a lot. There are 3 main types:

1. The Vervet Monkeys, of which there seemed to be two varieties.

2. The Colobus Monkeys, which always have a sagacious look about them.

3. The Baboons

Now, baboons are generally recognized as peaceful creatures, but they can grow pretty big, and are known for aggressive tendencies once in a while. On arrival, we were told to keep our doors shut, lest the monkeys get in to go after the food. One morning, a vertiable troop of about 10 baboons made their way onto our veranda. Three of them stood on the opposite side of the glass, checking out Maggie, who stood there fearlessly proclaiming, "No come in my house!" You tell those monkeys, Maggie! Here is one of them:

In an impressive show of domination, one of the big males climbed up on our veranda chair, seen below, then grapped the cushion, set it up on the rail, let out a big yawn (baring his huge incisors) and laid down for a brief nap.Though we hadn't left any food out, we had left a few beach things, notably Maggie's swimsuit as well as a pink, inflatable fish intertube pool toy. These were seized by the troop of baboons and run through the common area between the cottages. Here's a picture of the baboons running around with our pool toy. Seen below, baboon teeth and inflatable pool toys do not always make the best playmates, and Maggie's fish suffered a fatality on behalf of the activity.

My wife, ever dauntless of baboon mischief spotted the swimsuit in the hands of a few young ones across the lawn and decided she was up to the task. I tried to argue that the big ones would come to the aid of the little ones if they looked threatened, but she would have none of it. She ran quickly and excitedly towards the little gaggle, and they scattered in true cowardly monkey spirit. Here she is with the spoils of her victory.

Maggie's linguistic development is really coming along, and she is putting more and more words together every day. She proudly told everyone that day: "Baboons take my fish!" There it is. Subject, action verb, correct possessive pronoun, and direct object. All together. How bizarre that it was actually true.


Uttz Family said...

Never a dull moment with those monkeys :) Mariah

susan said...

great story. i was ready to see a baboon sporting a swimsuit!

Timothy said...

What a mom Rachel is...no fear for her children!!!!

kimche said...

I think you should make a bumper sticker with that phrase-- profound meaning!