Friday, October 19, 2007
You could brush those cobwebs away.
I usually rise at 5 am, just before the dawn breaks. I am not sure that I know what wakes me but I think it is the slight sounds and movement of the monkeys in the enclosures adjoining my quarters. Then of course at 6.15 the morning chorus of the wild monkeys begins in the forest, with our own children joining in strong voice. It is difficult to say who has the strongest voice amongst our children; surprisingly it is either Schatov or Totto.
My first job is to attend to Miss Billy. She has a cardboard house on the sideboard in my room. I like to prepare her for the day. This means, firstly making her some milk, this is good wake up stuff for Miss Billy. She is very fussy. She won’t drink the milk shake that I prepare for all the others. It has to be milk, milk and only milk for Miss Billy. Then I prepare for her a small portion of either lechosa or bananas, with a few sheaves of leaves, kept fresh in a plastic container overnight. Finally a biscuit, this is usually Krakker. Just before I take her to her day nursery, I give her calcium supplement and Kiddi multi vitamins.
During this operation I have been in the kitchen, preparing the milkshake for the others. As you may know this is a grand mixture of bananas, merengada, Ne-Nerina, Multi vitamin Kiddi, Mirapol oil and quality milk powder.
This is all in readiness for when the helper and the housekeeper arrive at 7 am.
The housekeeper prepares the breakfast, which is either bananas, crude or cooked on alternate occasions or lechosa, chopped into mouth size pieces. Whilst the helper tours all the enclosures collecting the previous night’s plates and dishes, and washing down the tables, ready for breakfast.
After breakfast I begin my tour of all the enclosures. I start with Lala and her two friends, Schatov and Maniñia. They all love to be brushed. This is not an orderly event because monkeys don't know about taking turns. I start with Manina only to find that it is Schatov that I am brushing. There is a bit of shufling then it is Lala on the brush and so it goes on. This of course takes quite a time, usually about 20 minutes per child. During this process I look around to see that their bedclothes are clean and that excrement has been cleaned away. Nearly always I find that Rosita has found her way into the enclosure, she loves to move around the other enclosures and in spite of her small size she is a great robber of other children’s food.
Next on my tour is MonaLisa, Emma, and Nancy. Rosita is normally here also but at this time in the morning she is ‘on tour’. More brushing of course but the ladies like to play games with me as well. Nancy and Emma pull my hair, whereas MonaLisa an older friend, likes to sit on my shoulder and groom me. I often find the bedding on the floor and the food trays upturned, but that is all part of the days chore. I love being with these ladies and they know that I love them.
My next stop is Totto and Sophie. They are a great couple. Totto always very proud and Sophie is mischievous. Totto is a new client for brushing. Until recently I did not realize that he liked this attention. You can imagine how pleased I was when he made it clear to me that he would like this interaction. I really feel that now we know each other very well and that there is a mutual trust. It is a highlight of my morning to visit this monkey. I feel safe in spite of his obvious power. I love watching him enjoying my brushing.
My last stop is Eslabon, and Tutti and by this time Miss Billy. Master Tutti is very young and loves to be with me. Quite often I let him sit on my shoulder for the rest of the morning. Eslabon is quite a character, he swings around on the bamboo and the ropes and comes at me suddenly from every angle but there is no harm in this, it is all for fun. He is a comedian and a charmer. At this time there is little interaction with Miss Billy. This enclosure is very large with many tree branches and she hides in these for a good part of the morning. She loves the sun and positions herself to get the benefit. This of course is a great for her ailment, she needs the sun. I sometime get a little depressed when I see her walking so badly and hesitantly but each day I see a small real improvement in her mobility. I am sure that we are pursuing the right course with her.
At five in the evening, I collect Miss Billy and bring her to my quarters for the night. She is becoming more active in the house. Occasionally venturing into the big room and even looking around in the kitchen, this is of course very new. I am certain that the long term prognosis for her is good. I can’t wait to see her enjoy her day.
Well that is a brief run down on my day. If you feel like joining me for a few hours, I have a spare brush waiting for you.
Posted by Philip Cordrey at 6:00 PM