Before I can tell you about the monkey attack, let’s rewind quickly about twelve hours.
Leaving the Taj Mahal, camera still in hand, I was ready snap photos of the monkeys and goats along the sidewalk. I squatted down to take one monkey’s photo who was hanging out on a bench, and he immediately went from cute to angry! He slapped both his hands on the bench and fake-out started at me. He didn’t actually get up, but he really wanted to make me think he was going to. So I decided I would be a little more careful when taking photos of monkeys.
When we got home, I went into our hotel room only to find a giant lizard on the wall! He scurried from near the head of my bed to behind our non-functioning television. I only caught a glimpse of him before running out of the room, but I saw that he was definitely about six inches in body length plus another five or so in tail length.
Now onto the real monkey story!
We were at the train station and walking to our platform. I was carrying the team fruit- two papayas in a plastic bag and a dozen or so mandarins in another bag.
I pointed out to my friend Nicholas all the animals on the platform, “Dog…. dog… monkey.” And as we got closer to the monkey, he started to walk towards us. He was big. And then he ran towards us… no, he ran towards ME. And he was screaming! If you didn’t know, monkeys totally scream and he wasn’t definitely wasn’t holding back.
Standing and screaming he stretched his claws out at me and grabbed the bag of papaya. I was still holding on and I remember distinctly that he was pulling so that the bag was at about a 45 degree angle. He was really tugging.
It happened very quickly but I remember wondering if I should let him have it. If he was so angry, I didn’t want him to bite me or scratch me over a papaya! Fortunately, an Indian man coming in the opposite direction knew what to do. He stomped a few times and made some loud sounds and scared the monkey off.
Not exactly a near death experience, but it definitely shook me up. One of my very favorite animals turning vicious on me! We continued on and walked up the stairs and over the rail to the third platform where we were supposed to board our train. I declared forgiveness because my love for the furry little people-like animals was greater than my fear of that one monkey, but, sadly, it wasn’t true.
About ten minutes later we were all standing around and I saw another monkey walking towards us. In the second I saw him I gasped, and then disappointedly thought hmm maybe I’m scared of monkeys now. While otherwise non-threatening, this large monkey sat down near where we were and just looked at our group…. and then he singled me out! It was the SAME monkey! And he was staring me down!! I wasn’t holding the torn fruit bag anymore, but it was clear to me and everyone standing with me that this monkey had his eye on me! And then he started to make his move! Slowly this time he started walking towards me, about the same time I shrieked and moved to the comfort of the center of the group.
This time, my friend John scared the monkey away with his makeshift monkey weapon (which he proudly refers to in his version of Dutch as an oppen wopen).
So that’s the end of my monkey story. It was pretty scary and I’m glad there aren’t any monkeys in the city we’re in now because I may or not be afraid of monkeys forever….