Close Encounters With Animals

In India I came face to face with a monkey. I was walking on a bridge over the Ganges River in Rishikesh. The bridge was narrow and the monkey was blocking my path (and/or I was blocking the monkey’s path). What I now consider comedy but which I didn’t think was comical at the time, I was carrying two bananas. The monkey, which came up to my knee, stared at me, then stared at the bananas, baring its teeth. It was obvious the monkey wanted those bananas, and it seemed safe to say I wasn’t going to pass the monkey free of a monkey bite or scratch or whatever monkeys do to humans holding bananas without giving up my fruit. I was terrified.

In the end, after a several moments of silence, during which the monkey and I stared each other down like two cowboys with their hands on their holsters, I placed the bananas on the railing of the bridge and stepped away. The monkey immediately pounced on the bananas, picked them up, then scampered away. To say the least, I was relieved.

In any case, today’s prompt I stole from Pat Schneider’s excellent book Writing Alone and with Others and it is this: Close your eyes and imagine yourself face to face to with an animal. Then write what you see.