A Walk in the Bark

Contributed by James Carruthers

I was leaving the forest recently, when out of nowhere there was an eruption of noise accompanied by almost every monkey in sight marauding with purpose towards the road. Having never experienced such intense energy produced by them I hurriedly made my way towards the epicentre of the commotion, suspecting a battle between two potential alpha males. As I reached the main gate the noise had elevated further, arising from more monkeys than I had ever witnessed in one area flooding the road and pavements.

After a few seconds I saw a group of large adult males which seemed to be pursuing a dog. In an effort to ascertain why, I made my way through the crowd of screeching monkeys to get closer, only to see a young juvenile monkey locked helplessly between the jaws of the ravaging hound. After several minutes, the adult males managed to surround the fleeing dog, but not a single monkey approached it to within striking distance. What seemed to overcome the dog was a bizarre combination of boredom and fear as he dropped the juvenile and continued along the road, still followed closely by a large group of aggressive adult males who were re enforced further by the rest of the monkeys.

I was surprised by the fact that as the juvenile lay motionless, only two other monkeys, both young, inspected it briefly before moving on. As the dog drew further away and the situation began to simmer, I cautiously approached it myself to see if there was any sign on life. After a few short seconds the monkey gasped its final breath and its eyes closed, resigning itself back to the earth. The rest of the monkeys went back to their business with the danger to each individual diminished with the now absence of the dog and I was struck by a moment of sadness, to think that only 10 minutes ago this young monkey was joyfully playing in the place where it now peacefully lay. A tragic event in many ways; ultimately, however, it is just another example of the sometimes vicious circle of life.

About isantraveller

I have been in and around North-East Thailand for more years than I can recall. I now live here permanently. I have travelled in 32 countries on 3 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) so I am a bit of a traveller.
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