Quad Monkey

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Quad Monkey

This is Jana and I’m here with another of our famous Monkey stories. As you’ll hear, this is a particularly speedy story.

Quad Monkey

The Jungle is by and large a peaceful place. The animals enjoy the music of the cicadas and the birds, and occasionally there is a trumpet or a distant roar. At the beginning of our tale, such trumpeting was scarce, as the elephants had set off on their annual migration beyond the great mountain, leaving a serene stillness in their wake.

Until one day, this peace was shattered by a harsh buzzing sound.

[Sound of a chainsaw]

The animals instinctively knew that the noise was something to do with the humans, because most strange things in this world are. The monkey, who is less afraid of the humans than the other animals, went to investigate. From the safety of a high-up branch, he watched a man slicing through bushes with an electric saw, while others hacked at the undergrowth with sharp, curved scythes. Leaves fluttered to the ground and branches snapped underfoot as the men worked. The monkey soon realised that these humans were clearing the jungle tracks, worn down by elephant feet. They were making them broader and more open, even felling trees to brighten the path with sunlight.

After he returned home, the other animals gathered around his tree to listen to what he had found out. He told them what he had seen - and then the others spoke in turn. They all had their theories. The bear was the first to give his view, all the while having a jolly good scratch against a tree.

“I’m very happy to hear this news. It’s about time we had some decent roads through our jungle. The state of those jungle tracks is atrocious!” The bear’s deep voice rumbled through the clearing.

The majority of the animals did not share the bear’s enthusiasm. The jackal, pacing nervously, raised his snout and warned, “Mark my words, the humans will ride on the backs of elephants along those tracks.”

“Meaw.. And they will shoot their guns at the animals with the most valuable coats,” added the tigress, flicking her tail.

“Worse still, they will drive noisy machines along the new roads and run us over!” feared the hedgehog, his quills trembling.

Then, the guinea fowl ran around in circles crying, “Oh deary me. Fly away! Fly away, as quick as you can. We are all doomed!” Her feathers fluffed out in panic.

Some of the birds took flight, but they soon returned when they remembered they had abandoned their eggs and chicks in their nests. Wings flapped and rustled as they settled back onto their branches.

The monkey called out, “Calm down, people! Calm down! It’ain’t the end of the world yet. I’ll keep an eye on the humans and keep you posted!”

Over the next few weeks, he saw how the humans continued to clear the elephant tracks, making a broad path that cut through the jungle in a big circle that came right back to where it started. The sound of chopping and sawing became a constant background noise.

The bear thought the circular path was a brilliant idea: “It shows how clever the humans are! They never get lost because when they go on a journey they always end up where they started!” He chuckled, his belly shaking.

The monkey, however, was suspicious: “I’m not sure why they’re going round in circles, but I will find out,” he promised, scratching his head thoughtfully.

And it wasn’t long before a different sort of buzzing sound woke the bear and the monkey one morning. The bear bounded and the monkey swung over to the sound, and sure enough, they saw something very unexpected.

The bear squinted and asked, “What kind of animals are those?”

“Those aren’t animals, those are humans on wheels,” declared the monkey, hanging upside down from a branch, his tail curling round for balance.

“You sure? They don’t look much like humans to me,” said the bear, with a puzzled look. “They're all sorts of bright colours with zig-zaggy patterns and their heads are twice as big as human heads and I can’t see their eyes.”

“That’s because they are wearing silly clothes and funny hats,” said the monkey, swinging back upright and pointing with one hand. “They are dressed up like that to have fun!”

The bear shook his head, trying to understand. “Their idea of fun is very noisy,” he complained, putting his fingers in his ears as the roar of engines grew louder, vibrating through the ground and shaking the leaves.

And he was right. The humans on wheels were making a terrific amount of noise as they zoomed around the tracks, their strange vehicles kicking up dust and leaves.

In fact, the humans were riding quad bikes with four big wheels. The adults rode big bikes, and the kids rode smaller ones. Some of the humans were standing up as they rode, and some were sitting, but they were all gripping big handlebars for steering, and having a lot of fun.

The monkey and the bear watched, wide-eyed. One rider took a sharp turn, the quad bike skidding and then righting itself.

“Maybe those round hats are to cover their heads in case it rains,” suggested the monkey.

The riders were, of course, wearing protective gear including racing suits and helmets. But of course animals don’t have protective clothing - so they didn’t understand why they were dressed like that.

One rider flew over a bump, almost coming off his bike. The vehicle soared high in the air before landing smoothly. Even the monkey was impressed by their acrobatics.

“Ooh ooh that looks like a lot of fun,” he said, enviously.

Then a rider went tipping over, and went head first into the foliage before standing up and brushing himself off.

“That looks like ‘ouch!’” exclaimed the bear.

The quad biking continued for the coming days. The engines whining and roaring on the jungle circuit became a constant presence echoing through the trees. Some of the braver animals, such as the tigress, came over to get a glimpse of the noisy creatures on wheels, cautiously peeking as the riders zoomed past, their colourful racing suits and helmets creating a blur of motion.

But most of the animals did not share her curiosity. The noise was too much for them to bear, and they stayed far away from the tracks. The constant roar and rumble were not just annoying but quite frightening, sending shivers down their spines and making their hearts race.

Soon, quite a few animals started to talk about moving home - because who wants to live with noisy neighbours like those quad bikers!

But the monkey was fascinated by the thrills and spills of the quad racing, and sat on a branch watching, becoming more and more green with envy.
Often he said to the bear something like,

“Awwww! Humans have all the fun! Wish I could have a go, don’t you, bear?”

“I’m not sure about that,” said the Bear, “do you think they’ve got those zig-zaggy pants in my size?”

The idea of riding one of the strange bikes grew and grew in the monkey's mind, until he was thinking about nothing else all day - not even bananas - and he dreamt about nothing else all night. In fact, he would wake up in the morning saying, “Broom Broom…Broom,” and he would swing through the trees saying,
“EEEEEEEENAWWWWWWWWWW!” so that all the other animals thought the bike sounds had driven him out of his monkey mind.

Eventually, he said to himself, “I’ve just got to try one of those bikes.”

One evening, when the humans had finished buzzing around the track for the day, he climbed into the compound where all the vehicles were kept.

Ever so carefully, he approached one of the smaller bikes, suitable for his size. He climbed onto the seat, his hands gripping the handlebars. He had watched the humans closely, so he had a rough idea of what to do. He pushed a button, and the bike roared to life, making him jump.

“Whoa!” he exclaimed, his tail twitching with a mix of fear and exhilaration.

He twisted the accelerator tentatively, and the bike jerked forward, almost throwing him off. He held on tightly, his eyes wide. “This is terrific!” he called out.

But the better he got at riding the bike, the more frustrated he became, because all he could do was ride around the compound. What he really wanted was to whizz around the jungle tracks, like the humans did. He drove up to the gate, jumped off the bike, and shook it. The gate rattled but remained firmly closed.

“If only I could get a big strong animal to help me,” he thought. “Mmm, like a tigress, no, I don’t think a tigress could bite through the gate, or…er - a bear - but even the bear’s head is not hard enough to charge through the gate - I know! I need an elephant to help me! An elephant could knock down the gate, easy-peasy! Ahhhh! But the elephants are not here right now. They’re on the other side of the Great Mountain.”

The monkey sighed, remembering the majestic elephants. Every year, the elephants migrated to the lush valleys beyond the Great Mountain in search of the abundant food and water that the rainy season brought. They travelled to these fertile lands to feast on fresh grass, leaves, and fruit, and to bathe in the plentiful rivers and lakes.

However, he also knew that the elephants always returned to this part of the jungle once the dry season began. They would come back to the jungle to find shade under the dense canopy and drink from the deep, ancient water holes that never dried up.

And as it happened, he did not have to wait too long before waking up one day to a distant, deep rumbling sound - not a buzzy whine like a quad bike, but a deeper Boom! Boom! As the sound came closer, the ground trembled slightly - and the leaves in the monkey’s tree rustled.

The monkey’s ears perked up, and he scrambled to the top of the tallest tree to get a better look. From his vantage point, he saw a line of elephants travelling along the ancient jungle path.

“Whoopie!” he called out.

Sure enough, as the minutes passed, the mighty silhouettes of the elephants began to appear through the trees. Their massive forms moved gracefully, and their trunks swung rhythmically as they marched. The leader of the herd let out a loud trumpet, announcing their return to their home in the jungle.

Then from his tree, the Monkey called out, “Oh Mighty King of the Elephants, welcome back to the Jungle. I am sorry to be the bearer of terrible news - but as you will shortly discover, the humans have built a compound on your sacred ground, the place where your ancestors’ tusks are buried, where the Great Elephant Spirit watches over the jungle.”

“Do you swear this is not one of your tricks, monkey?” demanded the king of the Jungle.

“I swear by the Great Banana Tree! You will soon see for yourself that this monkey does not lie!”

The King of the Elephants' eyes widened with anger. “Our ancestors' resting place?”

“Yes!” the monkey exclaimed, gesturing dramatically. “They even built a fence to keep you out, as if you were mere trespassers in your own home!”

The elephants began to trumpet angrily, their eyes narrowing with fury. The King of the Elephants raised his trunk and let out a powerful, call. “This is an outrage! We must reclaim our sacred ground and restore honour to our ancestors!”

With a loud trumpet blast, the elephants charged towards the compound. The ground shook with their powerful steps, and the jungle echoed with their determined cries.

That evening, the monkey and the bear returned to retrieve the bikes.

“Monkey,” asked the bear, “Can you really ride one of those things?”

“Sure,” said the monkey, “I’ll be your driving instructor if you like.”

He jumped on the smaller bike and showed the bear how to rev up the engine and shoot off. The monkey zoomed around effortlessly, demonstrating with impressive flair. The bear, trying to copy him, revved up his bike but shot straight into a termite hill and tumbled off.

“Ha! Ha!” cried out the monkey. “Maybe you should wear a crash helmet!”

Because he had figured out what the strange hats the humans wore were for. He was a clever monkey, you see.

After they both donned helmets—and the monkey found a pair of zig-zaggy racing pants—they headed off around the jungle tracks. Despite the annoying roaring and buzzing of the bikes, the animals, birds, and insects all watched in amazement at their fellow animals on wheels.

The bear, still a bit wobbly, managed to stay upright and even started to enjoy himself. The monkey zoomed around, performing little tricks and making the other animals laugh. The jungle, once disturbed by human activity, was now filled with the joyous sounds of their own kind having fun.

And so, the monkey and the bear raced around the tracks, the jungle echoing with their laughter and the astonished chatter of the other animals.

And as for the humans, when they saw the devastation of their racing enterprise, they packed up what remained of their equipment and moved their racing track to the desert where the noise and dust wouldn't disturb the delicate balance of nature. As the old jungle saying goes, "Where the elephants tread, wisdom and peace are sure to follow." And so, with the might and wisdom of the elephants, tranquillity was restored to the jungle once more.