One morning, when I was twelve years old, I walked into the kitchen that we shared with another family, and all of a sudden something jumped on my shoulder. I fell down, probably screamed...although I don't remember, tried to look at what was on my shoulder, only to have very small hands cover my eyes. My Mother took the little creature of my shoulder and told me that it was a little monkey. From that time on the, what I think was a Spider Monkey, bonded to me.
It was very hard to find apartments or houses for rent in Keflavik, Iceland at the time. My Mother and my new Stepfather found a small apartment, where we shared the kitchen with the owner of the house. She had two sons who were in their late teens.
One of her sons had been down at the dock where there was a ship...from somewhere in Scandinavia and on board of the ship was this little monkey.
One of the shipmates gave the monkey to the boy, who in turn brought it home, left monkey in the kitchen, for my Mother and his Mother to find the next morning and went to bed.
My Mother was and is an immaculate housekeeper and was not thrilled having this monkey in the kitchen. But there he stayed. After weeks of protest by the Mothers who had enough of cleaning up after the monkey. The young man who brought the monkey home, built a cage for him.
We all came to love this little creature and found him a great entertainment and he loved us back...especially me. We bonded and I felt quite natural having him on my shoulder when I was doing school work, sewing, or generally doing what twelve year old girls do while they are around and about the house. One thing my Mother would not allow was a monkey in the kitchen while we were eating...he was then moved to bathroom where he sat on the handle of the door and howled.
He loved to steal things and was particularly found of pencils...he was always after mine when I was doing my homework. I would give him my pencil and go to my pencil box for another, then he would want that one and drop the one I had just given him and on it went. Needless to say it took me for ever to finish my homework.
There were a number of things that went missing while he was free from his cage. One day my Mother followed him when she noticed him pilfering, to find out were he stashed his treasurers. In the hallway there was a large floor vase and inside were all the things that had gone missing. When he saw that my Mother had found his hiding place, he sat on the rim of the vase and hissed at her.
I do not have a recollection of how long he stayed in the house. The older he got the more aggressive he got. He would not let anyone come near me and stayed on my shoulder most of the time that I was home and he was not in his cage. I had to hide and trick him to go into his cage, when I needed privacy.
In the mornings when was leaving for school, my Mother had to pry him off my shoulder.
Then one day he almost bit my Mother in his fit of anger. When I came home that day, my Mother told me that he was going to be living at the Zoo in Reykjavik.
I said tearful goodbyes to him. Sad, at the same time relived. I knew it was the best thing for him. He belonged with others like him.
I never could bring myself to go and see him at the Zoo and have no idea of what became of him...I wanted to remember him as my loving pet.
Did you or do you, have an unusual pet?