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Cassandra K. Shreves

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It was a crisp, cool Friday morning in the middle of the summer and Dr. Crowley who had arranged for a flight from London into Africa was ready to go.The plane was small, carrying only him, his small bag, a pilot and some other various materials.The ride was a little choppy and pretty frightening but nothing could take Stewartís mind of the journey that await him.Hours later he was dropped off in a clearing of a little village and was greeted by some local people that knew he was coming.His plan, since people werenít allowed to wander the rainforest was to befriend these people and then just sneak off and go on his own and do what he always wanted to do which was observe animals in their natural habitat.He wanted to see what the animals were really like when they didnít have to deal with people, a growing society and a shrinking habitat.

††††††††††† The people of the village were friendly to him but were so different.He enjoyed observing them because they themselves were like another species of animal that he could observer.He saw them painting their bodies and homes with paint they had collected and made.He saw them gather supplies from the forest to make their clothes, there furniture and everything that they used.The people of the village didnít go to the store and while they used the environment just like the people of his home but they didnít hurt the land that they used.This made his time with them better than he thought it would.After time he began to pick up their habits and secrets and soon knew all sorts of different things that he could do with plants and animals that he would find.Things what would certainly come in handy later.Things that would make his time alone much easier.

††††††††††† After years of learning and getting to know these people he finally found his chance to get out on his own.He was finally able to escape into the rainforest and live the life he dreamed about.He took his bag and went off.He kept walking for miles.Mile after treacherous mile through the thick brush of the forest, past new trees, new plants, old rotting trees, bugs and reptiles of all sorts.The land was so green but so dark at the same time since the thick dense forest formed a canopy and blocked the sun.He felt that if he could get in far enough, and that if he could go through enough plants and that if the walk were hard enough then no one would take the risk or the time and ever bother him.After about a day of walking he found the perfect place but wouldnít find out until later just how perfect this place happened to be.He found a nice tree to live in, scurried up and started to get settled.He wanted to make as little change to the environment as he could.He didnít want anyone to know that he was there and was going to do as much as he could to have the animals not notice him.After he was sat up he decided that he was safe and could go to sleep.

††††††††††† In what seemed like no time the sun woke him up and he began to look around.There were animals everywhere.Stewart couldnít look one place without seeing something that he could observe.He saw birds that he had never seen, and bugs that he wasnít sure if he wanted to see them again, well at least not near him, wild cats and pigs and reptiles of all sorts but nothing caught his attention more than a small group of primates off in this distance.These were different than any other primate he had ever heard about or read about and since Stewart had been a devout fan and studier of animals for as long as he could walk and read.He went to school to study animals and even after a degree in biology his only dream was to forget everything and go off in to the wild to see animals really live.He was sure that this was a new species and quickly saw why this species had stayed undiscovered.He saw them performing tasks that it most humans wouldnít do.He quickly saw that this species was intelligent and different than any other animal in the world.

††††††††††† He had finally found the thing to watch and sat up in his tree with a notebook prepared to watch them all day.It was early morning and he watched the female (he knew that they were female because they had different grooming habits than the males that were easily spotted) prepared the breakfast that they young males had gathered and served it to the village.After the ate this breakfast, some of the males set out to clean the area and make tools for the young to collect food and some of the younger males went with them.Some of the females went of and took younger females to gather plants and other items, while some of the females stayed and prepared more of the food.A few select primates went over to a cave and began to bring out things that looked to be instruments but they couldnít be animals donít know music.They sat up and began to play.It was nothing fancy just something with a steady beat to do work to.And some of the primates began to take berries and crush them up and they were actually painting murals on the rock walls.In disbelief Stewart closed his eyes for a few moments and shook his head.When he reopened his eyes he saw even more than he could believe.He saw the elders teaching the young the tasks that they were performing; he saw the group of females that were gathering now making something out of the material that they had gathered.This went on until dark and Dr. Crowley was captivated by everything and was utterly disappointed that it was now dark and he could see nothing.He decided that the best way to pass time was to sleep even though he didnít know if he would be able to.He laid down and closed his eyes.Not long after he fell asleep he was abruptly awaken by loud banging.He soon began to hear music, this music was something like primal music but he was confused and thought that it couldnít have been since there was no tribe anywhere near.For a while he was sure that he was dreaming until for about the eightieth time a bug bit him.He let out a little yelp, he was getting used to the pain but still was uncomfortable about they mystery of how many bugs he was really sleeping on.Since he knew that he wasnít dreaming he became even more curious than he was before and now almost angry that it was dark and he couldnít see anything.At least he was until something in the distance began to glow.It was a fire.These primates actually started a fire and were sitting around it with music.There were many more than there were earlier and they were all wearing the gathered and prepared materials from earlier as decoration.†† He listened closely it sounded as if a different tribe of primates had joined this tribe.They spoke a completely different language.This was some sort of ceremony but it couldnít be.Animals donít have ceremonies.Soon, an elaborately decorated primate male stood up and began to speak.He spoke the language of earlier in the day but after would pause and clearly switch to the next.Not only did these animals speak but also they were bi lingual.This was almost too much for Dr. Crowley.After the primate spoke everyone cheered and they all got up, started to eat, the music got louder and they actually started to dance.

††††††††††† Dr. Crowley sat amazed he couldnít believe his eyes.There were these animals that were just as evolved as some humans.They could and were doing almost everything that humans would do and even did somethingís better than other humans had done them.

††††††††††† Dr. Crowley sat and watched them until he fell asleep and when he woke up he watched them for longer.Unless he was sleeping of gathering food and even then he never took his eyes off this tribe.This was the most amazing thing that he had ever seen.Dr. Crowley sat and watched and recorded everything that they did for years.He noted every invention, every celebration, every task, and every generation.Soon Dr. Crowley thought that it was probably time to get home because it was getting harder for him to bear the elements and live out here alone.He didnít know quite what to do with the information that he had.He could hide it but it was much to great to be hidden but then in the same respect it was so great that people would immediately come out here and ruin everything that he had seen.He was at a loss for what to do.

††††††††††† He was sad to leave but knew that he must and was soon at home.When asked of his journey he was still unsure of what to say.For one he hadnít really showered in years and looked and acted like he was a little crazy so everything that he would have said especially primates are bilingual and make art, music and clothing would have been over the top and not believed.He had decided that he would just keep the secret inside and thatís what he did until the day that he died.He never told anyone and no one ever knew.At least no one knew until the day, about 15 years later that someone found this journal than he kept.This journal now causes more problems than anyone would have ever imagined and there are hundreds of people actively looking for this lost tribe of primates.Thankfully for the animals, Dr. Crowley never wrote down the location of this tribe and hopefully for the sake of the animals it will never be found.Even without the location being found people were already planning on bringing the primates back.They were going to set up a home for them and see just how far they would evolve.They were hoping that they could have their own monkey village. People would pay to come and see them and maybe even live with them.There was also worry that they would stop evolving if they were taken out of there natural habitat so there were also plans to leave them there and just put a big wall around them and then tear down all of the rainforest so that they could have people come and see them and how they live.The people were going to risk destroying the world just so that they could make a little money and have people get a look at the animals with this strange and interesting culture.

 

© 2003 by the author

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