Lying in a hammock, feeling the breeze on my face and enjoying the paradise that is the Caribbean coast, my tranquility was disturbed by the rustling of leaves above my cabin.
Quickly, I peered out in time to see a black and white Capuchin monkey extend its arms to catch a branch on a nearby tree.
I had seen a plethora of monkeys before, caged together in a confined section of the North Carolina Zoo. This was the first time I could catch the magnificent creature in the natural habitat.
Excited, I jolted up from where I was resting, grabbed my digital SLR camera, called out to a friend and rushed to get pictures of the mammal in action.
To my luck, a whole family was passing through the Cahuita lodge in which I was residing. I watched as the white faced monkeys of all different sizes gracefully leapt from limb to limb.
They looked at me and posed then jumped to give me a show.
Camera to eye, I clicked away to capture the scene.
After about two minutes, my eyes fixated on a mother carrying an infant on her back. “This is my golden shot,” I thought, and worked to capture the two.
In the midst of my shooting, I felt a slight pain in my left arm. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had been hit by something and prayed it was not what I heard about in the stories.
Before glancing at my arm, I gazed upward to see if I could find the culprit. Our eyes met, and in a flicker he appeared to smirk.
“Ok, you got me,” I thought and braved the look down to my arm. There in the throbbing spot, I saw a smear of a brown squishy solid.
“That monkey just threw something at me,” I exclaimed to my friend. Laughing, she gazed at my arm then playfully asked, “Did you smell it?”
My first instinct was to wipe my arm on her and tell her to smell it for me, but I decided against it and instead cleaned my arm with a leaf.
Seeing my discomfort, my friend, pointing to half eaten debris by our feet, tried to console me by saying that the material was a fruit
Yet, I knew the truth. Shaking my head, I thought about how monkeys have over 90 percent of human DNA.
Just like I don’t want to be gawked at for the way I live. Monkeys don’t either.
“Lesson learned,” I said to my friend in the tree, then turned away to take a shower.