First off, my apologies for the long silence. It’s been a busy few weeks, but I have a quick story I have to share.
I went off with some old school friends for a few days to Shimla, a small hill station in North India. While there, we went off to see a temple to the god Hanuman who had the form of a monkey. Thus, monkeys were considered sacred to the god, and a large number surrounded the temple.
As we walked up the rather steep and numerous stairs to the main temple, we came across full herds of monkeys who weren’t shy about how they felt. If passers by looked them in the eye or said something to them they were quite unabashed about slapping them across the face. One of my friends got slapped across the face and consequently was a tad skittish around them.
I, of course, kept walking ignoring him and like a good friend making fun of him about his fear of the monkeys. So after touring the temple and seeing the 108 foot statue of the god, which was quite impressive, we walked down.w
After walking down, I stood around waiting with a friend while my other companions went off to see another temple. As we stood there chatting, all of a sudden I felt something hit my head and my glasses disappear. My friend, in splits of laughter told me that I’d just had a monkey creep up behind me, eye my glasses closely, leap towards me snatching my glasses off my face.
I turned and sure enough, he had my glasses perched on an arch about 12 feet high. In vain I stood there trying to figure out how to get my glasses back. He, smart man that he is, walked across to the men who worked there and asked how I should get my glasses back.
These men had stopped me in the beginning of my walk up the temple telling me to take an offering for the monkeys. I, seasoned traveler that I am, ignored them. Then when this seasoned traveler was squinting at the monkey who had my glasses in confusion they offered me a way out.
The man took two packets of some sort of candy- small round sugar balls basically, and walked up the stairs to the monkey. As he rose, he split one open and threw it in all directions. A horde of monkeys descended on it scrabbling and fighting for the candy. Not the thief though- he wasn’t going to be swayed by a communal offering. As soon as the man got close to him, he threw him the other candy packet. The monkey caught that packed in one hand and neatly dropped the glasses- luckily into the vendor’s waiting hands.
Later on, we realized those monkeys were likely trained to retrieve people’s valuables in exchange for candy- a supposition our hotel manager confirmed while in splits of laughter at my predicament.
So, that’s the story of how I got some tender loving care from a monkey.
This is why monkeys rate up there with pirates and ninjas.