My mom is putting together her life story, so in a notebook she has collected old photos and memorabilia, along with her written memories. This past weekend my little girls and I had the privilege of looking back in time along with her. The following poem is from a yellowed newspaper clipping she, as a child in the 1930s, remembers that her mother had. Mom saved it from Grandma’s things after she passed away 20 years ago.
Such obvious truth spoken so eloquently by a monkey!
Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
Discussing things as they’re said to be.
Said one to the others, “Now listen, you two,
There’s a certain rumor that can’t be true,
That humans descended from our noble race-
The very idea is a shocking disgrace.
Never did a monkey desert his wife,
Kill her unborn, or ruin her life.
And you’ve never known a mother monk
To leave her baby with others to bunk.
Or pass them on from one to the other
‘Til they scarcely know which is their mother.
And another thing you’ll never see-
A monk build a fence around a coconut tree,
And let all the coconuts go to waste,
Forbidding other monkeys to have a taste.
Why, if I built a fence ‘round my coconut tree,
Starvation would force you to steal from me.
Here’s another thing monkeys don’t do:
Go out at night and get drunk on brew,
And cause a lot of havoc with a gun or knife,
And carelessly take some young monkey’s life.
Yes, man has descended, the ornery cuss,
But brother, he didn’t descend from us.”
Janice Powell 2013
This poem reminded me of the post and comments here.