When I was a kid I went to school in Texas for a year. On my first day while grappling with my locker a sweet boy stopped to help. My strange accent drew attention to my nationality and was followed with the stereotypical question that I was to hear over and over again that year: “Do y’all have lion in your yard?”
Now years later and settled into domestic bliss in the sleepy coastal village of Chintsa East, I can confirm that as a rule there are still no lion in the back-yards of South Africa, even out here in the sticks. But there are other forms of wild-life, in particular – monkeys.
Monkeys that cause constant mischief, sneaking in through open windows, setting off house alarms, stealing fruit or bread that isn’t packed away, and making a general nuisance of themselves leaving behind a trail of monkey mess.
Managing to get in at times they have trashed the kitchen, breaking glass bottles and ripping open bags of pasta and flour. In their panic to escape they have smashed through glass window panes – like in the movies!
They are not shy these Chintsa monkeys. They know our weakness’ and smell our fear. Soon after my first baby girl was born my brave hubby had a stand-off in the kitchen with an alpha male – both of them in their birthday suits, one of them a lot bigger and wielding a broom – a scary sight indeed. The monkey was far less impressed than I.
As painful as they can be, we still love having them around. Hours are spent watching as they frolic in the garden and lounge around on our stoep, and their presence helps us feel like we still live in the wild. The troops are deeply territorial and they were here first. Having invaded their space, sharing it is the very least we can do. And in the spring the babies come. Ohh the beautiful little babies…….making up for the sins of their parents.
Read more about vervet monkeys here:
Spring in Chintsa East, South Africa 2012