Mom! There's a monkey in our tree!
It's been quite a while since I have even thought about this one, but if I were a swearing woman, I'd swear, It's really true!
My eldest daughter, who is now forty six years old, and has two adult offspring said this. Sarita was only just about old enough to begin kindergarten the upcoming September. She had just turned five years old.
While I was in our living room, talking with my own Mother on the telephone, Sarita came running in from our back yard, calling me, over and over. I thought she must have gotten injured while playing. She was just soo excited.
She just kept repeating over and over again, "Mom, there's a monkey out back in our tree."
I first told her, "Honey, there are no monkeys where we live, it must have been a cat you saw."
She just wouldn't stop, and insisted that there really was a monkey out back and in our huge asian pear (sapote) tree.
Mind you we lived in an older section of Garden Grove, California, and our area was inhabited mostly by older, retired persons.
Finally, when she just would not accept all the possibilities I suggested that she may have mistaken for a monkey, I told my Mom that I had better go see what in the world she did see.
Just as I opened the back door, I caught a glimpse of a small, creature that was sort of greenish-gold in color, and it wasn't much larger than a kitten six or seven weeks old. But, it certainly had just jumped from our huge tree into another tree that overhung the fence from our neighbor's yard.
I saw a long tail, and only a very tiny body and itty bitty head, that did not have kitten ears, either.
Whatever it was, I really needed to get it, before it got injured, or possible ran into the street and got hit by a car, of maybe was killed by someone's dog.
I was wearing a straight-line dress, and tennis shoes, certainly not properly attired for tree climbing, or even running, for that matter.
Sarita was running right behind me, while I headed to our next door neighbor's home to get permission to enter their rear yard to try to catch this little critter.
By the time I knocked on their front door, and ascertained no one was at home, just opened their rear gate, that little thing was just clearing their fence and heading for their other neighbor's place.
Every home I went to for permission to enter their private rear yard, not a soul was home, which was getting pretty frustrating by now.
As I headed for the next rear gate, that little thing scooted in the side door to their garage. Thankfully, their main garage door was also open, so I quietly went in, quickly glancing into every place I thought it may have run, when suddenly it again escaped through the same door it entered through.
This time, it zipped up that door onto the roof.
Remember, I was still wearing that tight fitting dress, and tennis shoes.
I decided I wasn't about to grab a frightened creature like this, no matter it's size, it still had teeth, and I had no desire to get badly bitten.
Yet, if it got away from me again, there was only an intersection ahead, with more traffic, some stores, and a large church on the diagonal corner, so I had to something, and do it fast, and still not lose the little thing.
I decided I had best go home and grab something I could toss on top of it, like I have caught parakeets, or a canary that was being uncooperative.
I ran home, indoors, and swept up the cloth I used to cover my bird's cage at night, and ran back to try once more before I may have to give up the chase.
I guess the little thing was probably at least as out of breath as I, as it was still on top of the garage roof, just watching to see what I was about to do next.
When I started looking for access to the roof, that little "monkey" again jumped onto the door to the side entrance to the garage, and went back inside. (thankfully)
It then jumped on some boxes, and before it could do anything else, I flopped the cloth over it, and quickly scooped it up, and wrapped it so it could no escape again, and started for hoe, with Sarita still on my heels.
"See Mama? I told you it was a monkey."
I guess our little field trips to our small local zoo was just enough to educate her more than I realized it had.
It really was a very tiny squirrel monkey.
First, I made sure to get her something to eat and drink, as I had no idea how long she had come, or been on the loose.
It only took a few days for her to settle in, and not be so frightened of me. Meanwhile I set about calling every vet in our area, informing them that I had custody of someone's pet monkey, and wondered if they may have any monkeys as patients, or knew of any vets who treated monkeys. I also called out local pet shops, and feed stores, to get the information out there so that hopefully, someone that was her legal owner might be able to find her.
Three weeks later, there was a knock on our front door. Who would be there but a young teenaged girl who somehow had finally heard about the lady who had been calling everyone she could think of that she had this little lost monkey.
It was very difficult letting go now, as I had just fallen for that sweet very tiny squirrel monkey.
By the time she went home, we were all attached, and I set out to try to find one for me, (us).
There is more to this story, but since it is so long already, I will stop for now. Maybe another Plinky prompt will pop up that will give me an opportunity to finish the "rest of the story."