The Talking Monkeys: The Home for Wayward Souls


The Talking Monkeys
Hello. My name is Frederick. This is not just my story, because so many others were involved in the telling of my story, as well as many others’. What happened to all of us was different for each of us in many ways, but as you will see the common thread connecting each of us to all of us has a backbone, as well as a central nervous system, that developed as a common consciousness, the more that we realized our common interests.

Also, my portion of the story could not have been told without the assistance of Mark, my handler. I was a second-generation research Chimpanzee. It was Mark who taught me American Sign Language (ASL) officially, at least. Mark was the first to notice that both my parents had begun to teach me ASL before the lab really started to consider me as a primary test subject. Prior to that point, I represented little more than an anecdotal reference to the union of Malkira and Lilith, my parents.

Malkira was a member of the tribe Pan Troglodytes, more commonly known as the Common Chimp, while Lilith was of the Pan Paniscus Tribe, and a Bonobo. My father’s families came from north of the Congo River, and my mother’s relatives habituated the south side of the Congo. The Congo is a wide and dangerous river, and chimps are not especially good swimmers. This is probably for the best, since the two tribes are not especially compatible, due to vast differences in both culture and temperament. I am not aware of any other matings of Chimps and Bonobos. The semi-captivity of the preserve upon which we live had provided much less formidable barriers than the Congo, but neither tribe seem to be especially interested in the other, since food was always plentiful and the habitats we large enough to allow a good deal of wandering without anyone encroaching upon anyone else’s territory.

At one point, both Malkira and Lilith were both placed in the Veterinary Unit for annual exams, lab tests, and inoculations, which involved an overnight observation and stay in the unit. Although they were placed several cages away from each other, both were fascinated by how much they looked like each other, only different. Also, virtually all the Chimps were familiar with each other, as were the bonobos with other members of their tribe. Malkira put on a very impressive display of dominant alpha-male behaviors, some of which were quite intimidating and ferocious and very much unlike the more passive posturings of the male bonobos. Lilith found it all very sexy. In a female-dominated society like the bonobo, Lilith knew of no previous experiences to compare to what she was witnessing.

The more advanced the species, the less likely it is that sexual behaviors are to be controlled exclusively by hormone levels. On the Chimpanzee and Bonobo level, playfulness and curiosity are additional pleasurable avenues that account for a great deal of their sexual experiences. Although Man separates procreation from sexuality and will copulate without regard for hormonal levels and may even take measures to prevent impregnation, the chimps and bonobos did not originally recognize the link between sexual congress and reproduction, and simply enjoyed it because it felt good and they liked it anytime they pleased. Other animals may rut out of hormonally-driven instincts to replenish the species, but we primates like to fuck for fun, and Lilith thought Malkira might be a lot of fun as she noticed certain parts of her monkey-fur were getting very wet.

The next day, both of them were returned to their respective habitats forever changed by their encounter. Lilith now found the company of the male bonobos to be about as stimulating as a luncheon with a convention of hairstylists, interior decorators and shoe salesmen. She found herself imagining Malkira chasing off her other suitors, roaring and brawling with all who were too foolish or imprudent enough to not be intimidated by his menacing fury, before he snatched her up and carried her off, already a prisoner of her own desires as well as his. She found herself becoming irritable and impatient with everything.

Lilith was not the only primate affected by their encounter. Malkira now regarded even the most comely and nubile Troglodytes as short, fat humorless and overbearing. Lilith, by contrast was tall, slender and almost disarmingly youthful in appearance, and seemed to possess an airy grace in her playful antics. Also, Lilith smelled differently than all the other female chimps he had ever known. It strangely resembled the musk of some of the female handlers he had noticed, and it mesmerized him.

The two habitats conjoined each other at only one narrow portion of the preserve, separated by high cliffs and a very steep waterfall. Malkira stood one day on a prominent rock beside the waterfall high above the basin below. It was his favorite place to go at dusk to watch the sunset. On particularly beautiful occasions, he was often inspired to celebrate the joy he felt welling up inside him by dancing as the last rays of the day faded into twilight.

As he stood there, drinking in the experience, a familiar scent wafted up from the basin to his nostrils…could it be? Suddenly Lilith’s countenance flashed before him…but what is different?…Something earthy and fertile…Estrus! As Malkira searched the basin below him, he suddenly caught site of Lilith, who was looking upward laughing as she watched him dancing. She finally caught her breath and sighed deeply…who was he? From where had he come? Where does he go? What is he doing?

It was about that time that Malkira jumped. Lilith screamed. It was not a graceful Tarzan-style Swan dive. He simply leaped out into space like a being acting on pure foolish impulse without any regard for consequences…what a coincidence. A Monkey-jump, feet first, arms flailing in pure futility. Fortunately for Malkira, he landed in the deepest part of the pool basin. Except Malkira hated water, even worse than most chimps, probably because he could barely swim, even if his life depended on it, which it now did. Such is Love and infatuation. And then his head went below the water.

Fortunately, Lilith reached Malkira just in time to grab a thin shock of his hair, as she swam back to shore. His head stayed under the water most of the way, but after a short episode of violent coughing, retching and vomiting he was jubilantly screaming, and waving his hands above his head as he rolled head over heels, almost falling back into the water. Lilith quickly joined him in his triumphant dance just long enough to be roughly bent over and mounted forcefully and exquisitely in a manner wholly oblivious of tenderness, forethought, or foreplay. It was a savagely beautiful and erotic moment, and as they lay on the edge of the shore, a sigh passes between them.
It didn’t take more than a few hours for the handlers to locate Malkira and Lilith, but no one could explain the ferocity with which both of them resisted being separated, or putting Malkira back with the other Chimps. For several days, they both refused to eat, but once it was discovered that Lilith was pregnant it made about as much sense as could be expected, especially since this had never happened before.

This was how my parents met, and how I was conceived. It was told to me many times by both my parents, both jointly and individually. The emphasis or attention to various details would change slightly depending on who was telling it, or what had prompted the retelling, but it was always a grand, heroic tale of Love against all odds.

Although the Preserve was originally built as a Florida tourist attraction that featured a wide variety of wild African animals in a natural habitat that closely resembled the savannas of Africa, unmanageable operating costs and a fizzled economy forced the owners to seek additional financial backing, which came from a research corporation interested in Primate behaviors, learning, cognition and language abilities. The research corporation was not interested in the other African animals, which were sold to various zoos or similar institutions. A great deal of construction went on during my youth, because the researchers required a great deal of new laboratory space to conduct their experiments under controlled conditions despite the fact that the animals were allowed to live and maintain family units within the marginally captive conditions of their natural habitat. The idea was to be able to compare and contrast the effects of their research and the learning experiences of the primates to a known baseline of behaviors.

At the risk of sounding like some stuffy old pedant who is overly sensitive to incorrect usage of some “buzz word”, I am nonetheless compelled to point out that Gorillas, Orangutans, Chimpanzees and Bonobos are not really “Monkeys” at all, and are more correctly referred to as Great Apes. There is however, a common tendency to refer to all primates as “Monkeys”…well, considering that most humans also refer to all people of Asian descent as “Chinese” and seem incapable of distinguishing subtle genetic traits within their own species, it is really more of a moot point than a source of insult.

By the way, you might be surprised to know that most primates find Humans to be just as zany, wacky, and foolishly hilarious as Humans find us…except when you are being cruel, sadistic, greedy, rapacious or dangerous…which unfortunately, is most of the time for Humans in their “natural state”. Some Humans might claim that lower Primates are not sufficiently evolved to have developed those characteristics…I suppose it depends on your definition of evolution.

Humans say things like “Monkey see, Monkey do” and don’t even consider the possibility that we mock you when we put on clothes, wear glasses and hats, or smoke cigarettes… (although the roller skating thing was pretty cool, all things considered).


Evolution is a slippery slope at best…too much of what is commonly regarded as “intelligence” has made Man lazy, unfit, amorphously fearful, neurotic, sexually repressed, arrogant and complacent. Humans for instance, have become so obsessed with their spoken and written linguistic abilities that they have almost completely lost touch with their former telepathic abilities…something that almost all animals possess to some extent. The Great Apes are so adept at this that Man’s dependency on words to communicate seems pathetic. As Mark taught me ASL, I began to try to teach Mark how to communicate without opening his mouth…or moving his hands.

2 Responses to “The Talking Monkeys: The Home for Wayward Souls”

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