*author note: I'm resolving to let go of my nuts this year....mayhap you will as well.....
THE MONKEY AND HIS NUTS...A CAUTIONARY...TAIL...
Once, long ago there lived a happy Monkey deep within the forest...for monkey's don't do well in urban settings.
He was a happy Monkey. And a lucky Monkey. And a happy-go-lucky Monkey as well.
It was a lovely lush forest full of banana trees and banana bushes and banana slurpie stands on every corner. And even though the banana slurpies were a ridiculous five bucks a pop he had one of those little punch cards and could Buy 10 Get the 11th FREE. And so the Monkey was never wanting for his fill of bananas.
Now, all was well in the banana laden forest and the Monkey spent every day exactly the same and he was as happy as a monkey could be. He had no reason to believe that life would ever change.
Until one day...quite suddenly and certainly without warning...he got a Bad Banana.
He hadn't expected it. He didn't believe it. But there it was...his banana was bad.
"A Bad Banana!" said the Monkey. "A Bad Banana!" he repeated in case someone had missed it.
"Why, if THIS banana is bad...then ALL bananas must be bad! I shall NEVER...and I do mean EVER eat a banana again as long as I shall live! I will remain.....BANANA-LESS!"
And that was that.
And even though he loved bananas and enjoyed bananas and bananas had been good to him in return and there were plenty of other bananas out there as well....AND....he had only three punches to go before his FREE slurpie...the Monkey swore to the gods that he would NEVER...and he did mean EVER eat a banana again as long as he should live. And then some.
So off he went to live his banana-less life.
Now in fact, it IS possible to lead a banana-less life. People do it every day. You mostly can recognize them by the way they muck about shouting they will never eat another banana again as long as they would live!
But, they are only fooling themselves. For life is not truly lived without a banana.
And the Monkey was steadfast in his resolve to NEVER (and he did mean EVER) eat a banana ever again.
At first it was easy this banana-less life. And friends cheered him on.
But, as days passed to weeks and weeks passed to months and well, the next thing you know years had gone by.
And the Monkey began to notice that his friends no longer cheered him on. In fact...everywhere he looked his FRIENDS were eating BANANAS!
As the Monkey pondered this along came a man with a basket of nuts. Beautiful, honey-gold nuts....they looked delicious!
But, nuts are not bananas and no amount of nuts can take the place of a banana.
Though the Monkey did not know this.
The Monkey hid behind a tree (though not a banana tree) and watched as the man hid the honey-gold nuts in a short, brown stump.
When the man went away the Monkey inspected the stump. There was only a small knot-hole with which to gain access to the nuts. But the Monkey focused all his attention and energy on the task and soon had pushed his entire paw inside the stump and.... at last.... was able to grab a handful of the honey-gold nuts!
"Ah-ha!" he cried... though there was no one to hear him as all his friends were busy eating their bananas. "I have the nuts! These nuts shall replace bananas in my life!"
And off he bounded happily through the forest!
Except he didn't.
For when the Monkey closed his fist around the nuts his paw became the wrong shape to be removed from the knot hole.
And that was that.
"I have the nuts!" he shouted to no one. "Right here! All mine! I don't need a banana!"
"What was that?" shouted down a monkey in a (banana) tree. "I can't hear you...I'm eating a banana!"
"Well. It doesn't matter." said the Monkey. "I have the nuts."
And there he sat.
And sat with his nuts clutched tightly in his paw.
He couldn't eat them.
He couldn't converse with them.
And worst of all he couldn't share them.
But all the same he had the nuts.
Until one day, quite out of the blue, along came a girl Monkey.
With a banana.
"Would you like to share my banana?" asked the girl Monkey.
"No!" said the Monkey. ALL bananas are bad! I'll content myself with my nuts if you don't mind. They're mine.
"But, I have a perfectly good banana." said the girl Monkey.
"So you say!" said the Monkey. And he clutched his nuts tighter than ever.
But time passed and the girl Monkey remained.
She did not go away.
She told the Monkey stories.
And listened carefully as he described to her The Importance of Nuts. Though he always pretended to be speaking to someone else.
And generally did nothing the Monkey could find to truly complain about...even though he tried very hard to make some silly things up.
In truth, the Monkey liked the distraction of the girl Monkey and her banana.
But it wouldn't do to say that out loud.
And the girl Monkey just sat there with her banana...out of his reach.
Then, oddly, one day the girl Monkey began to peel her banana.
"No sense in wasting a perfectly good banana." she thought to herself.
She took a bite.
Then she offered a bite to the Monkey.
And the Monkey contemplated his situation.
Hold fast to his nuts? Or take a bite of the lovely banana the girl Monkey offered him?
For to reach the banana he would have to leave the stump.
His paw was beginning to ache.
His head was beginning to ache.
And the banana was so very tempting.
And he was so very hungry and lonesome...as the nuts were not as good company as he had once thought.
They were not as good company as the girl Monkey.
They were not as good company as the banana.
Slowly....carefully....and with great caution....the monkey began to stretch his paw straight until one by one the nuts began to fall.
The nuts reached the bottom of the stump with a loud plunk.
And for a moment the Monkey felt fear.
Yet still the girl Monkey stayed.
As he carefully withdrew his paw from the stump a great feeling of relief and happiness washed over him.
He approached the girl Monkey. And still she did not leave.
She offered him her banana.
Oh, he hadn't had a good banana in so very long.
And he took a bite of the banana that the girl Monkey offered. The girl Monkey who stayed.
And, do you know? It wasn't bad after all.
These days they live happily in the forest sharing bananas together.
And while they still enjoy going about on their own to nibble a few nuts, now it only takes them half the time to get to the 11th slurpie.....
And still, the girl Monkey stays.
**author note: It is said that a certain type of monkey is captured by man in the jungles with weighted contraptions liken unto the stump in my story. They could save their lives by letting go of the nuts.....but they refuse. MLRF c.'04