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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Foundling

I have always had a great interest and fascination with monkeys and apes. When I was but a wee lad, I really wanted a pet monkey--but what kid doesn't? When I was in Kindergarten, our classroom had a kid-sized play kitchen and living room. We used this space to play "House", with my classmates filling the roles of a Mom, Dad, siblings, aunt, uncle, etc. There was limited room so not all the kids in my class could play at once. I created a role for myself as the family pet, "Monkey". This way I would be included anytime the other kids wanted to play "House". Everybody liked Monkey and it gave me the freedom to act silly, misbehave a little, and get away with it completely.
Growing up I read all the Tarzan books, saw the movies, and watched the TV show. I wanted to be the Lord of the Apes! I was a big fan of the "Planet of the Apes" movies too. When I was a teenager I read Jane Goodall's book My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees which inspired me to become a Primatologist. I studied everything I could find on the subject of primates and their behaviour. In a few years I had amassed a knowledge base in preparation for college. As you can guess, I did not become a world famous primatologist. Despite all the camping I had done as a Boy Scout, perhaps the jungle life was not for me after all.

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