Samaritan Monkey

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

Mind is a monkey is quoted often , most of the time to mean that mind can play havoc ! But look at this monkey that lent a hand just in time to two women struggling to get a job done.
A close look at the picture will reveal the flower of a plantain tree in the hands of the monkey. You would think the monkey intended to eat it , but no.
monkey peeling banana flower

The Samaritan Monkey

A group of about 20 of us were  at a temple in the outskirts of Chennai ( South India ) celebrating the 60th birthday of a family member. Rituals in full swing in one part of the temple while in the makeshift kitchen , frayed tempers as 2 cooks raced against time to whip up a festive meal. The supplies had come in late. The heat of the noon made it worse and amidst all this , a monkey that had perched itself on the roof of the kitchen swoops down , only to pick up the banana flower and a sheet of paper , trots away and seats itself where you see it in the pic.
Incidentally in South India , banana flower fritters are a delicacy that is served in festive meals. But our banana flower here was gone , no , going away ! We tried to scare the animal away in the hope of retrieving the flower , but the monkey ignored us ! Our helplessness or anger turned to amazement as the monkey started peeling segments of the flower and throwing them down on the paper that it had snatched from the kitchen ! In less than 5 minutes , the flower had been stripped of its segments ( our cooks would have needed half an hour ). And as we stood watching marveling at its dexterity , the ape chucked the stem of the flower across the wall , swung to the other pillar and made its way to I don’t know where.
Lost for words , we were. The banana flower fritters got made alright and they tasted special , the labour of the mammal had infused an extra dollop of yumminess !
Mr Monkey was the talk of the town for the next 2 days. Sheer coincidence that my earlier blog detailed the sensitivity of crows and now a monkey ! Some monkey behaviour , this !

3 thoughts on “Samaritan Monkey

  1. That’s awesome! Sous chef monkey! (Isn’t that what you call a prep chef?) What a great story and picture–and great memories for a celebration. Who else in the world can say they’ve had banana flower fritters prepared by a monkey? 🙂


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