Sara Morris Swetcharnik

The Monkey and the Pizote

By Sara Morris Swetcharnik

The pizote ignores the melon that has been placed in his cage, and bolts the chunk of meat. He resumes pacing to and fro.

The spider monkey in the next cage inspects his own selection of fruit. He devours the melon, hanging upside down while eating each slice (a conveniently drip-proof method for messy food).

After finishing the last piece of melon, he picks up a banana and then puts it down. He leans against the chain link fence and inspects the melon slices on the other side of the pacing pizote. The spider monkey knows better than to provoke the pizote's sharp claws and canine teeth. He passes his long monkey tail through the mesh and drapes it in a friendly fashion over the pizote. The pizote loves being petted by the monkey, and relaxes. A long monkey arm follows the tail into the cage and begins to stroke the pizote's long pointed muzzle. The pizote's wet black nose affectionately sniffs the monkey's hand. At the same time, the monkey's prehensile tail slowly extends past the pizote to the melon slice on the floor. The pizote doesn't even notice as the monkey slides the fruit closer to hand, then deftly picks it up and transfers it into his own cage.

The spider monkey, forgetting the pizote, climbs back up to his branch, hangs upside down, and contentedly eats his melon.