The Day My Aunt Froze Her Monkey…

OK, so I have your attention with my article title…My little brother is already going to be crying “foul,” because he thinks he came up with it, and keeps telling everyone he is going to write a book, and this will be the title of said book. HOWEVER, he and I definitely share the same humor genes (and ability to get ourselves into all KINDS of awkward situations…), so I am saying we both came up with this title. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…(If he ever does write said book, I will go ahead and give him permission now to use the title.) So we begin…the story I am about to tell you apparently has several “versions.” I am really not sure which version is totally “chronologically” accurate, but the “facts” remain the same in all versions…

One of the benefits of belonging to a large family is that you end up with an awful lot of cousins. And oh, my, did we ever enjoy growing up together! Every childhood memory of import includes either one, or many, cousins. We shared everything as children…dreams, fantasies, hopes, hurts, losses, laughter, tears, apologies…and always, always, so much love.

My father and uncle worked many years together as speciality carpenters and builders. One day my father came home from work and said that my uncle had been given a little spider monkey by someone for whom they were working. All of us kids were so excited about this new turn of events…a spider monkey!!! We had only ever seen a monkey at the zoo, and now, our cousins actually had one for a pet. Our excitement and enthusiasm to see the little fellow could not be contained! It was all we could do to sleep that night.

The next morning we all got up begging Mama to let us ride over to our Aunt’s house to see the new monkey. OF COURSE, we were allowed to get on our bikes and ride over to see the new “addition” to our family. Oh, he was the cutest little thing you have ever seen! Our cousins named him Oscar. My uncle built the neatest, largest cage for him, and in the coming days we would love on, and play with, Oscar.

One morning, our cousins called, crying and crying, saying that Oscar was dead…that he had frozen in the night. (An unexpected cold snap had come through, and Oscar indeed had frozen during the night.) My Aunt got poor Oscar out of the cage, brought him into the house, and lovingly laid him on the counter in the kitchen. All of us children were properly subdued and tearful. We paid our respects and then went back to our respective homes. It was a very sad occasion for everyone.

In doing daily household chores, my aunt actually forgot about Oscar…that is, until she saw him hopping all over the house. Yes, my friends, Oscar had unfrozen, and had come back to life!!! (This is actually true! I saw him afterwards with my own eyes!) They like to have never caught poor Oscar that day. Once they did, they made certain that he was kept warm during the cold nights, and he lived a very long life thereafter. The cousins were thrilled beyond measure!

So many times in our own lives we give up on situations and people too easily. We discount them so readily…and just maybe they still have a lot to give and do in this life…and be in ours. I am going to concentrate on not giving up on people…I will keep believing that they still have a lot of “life” in them and deserve my support and loyalty. Won’t you join me? Just for this week…

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