Once upon a time, in a village far far away, lived many large families with children galore. These children spent their days skipping through the trees, wandering the village, and getting into any sort of trouble that they could. Three children in particular were offspring of the highest rank in the village, Prince Killy. The children in this family consisted of Juliet, Harriet, and Carl. Juliet was very quiet, never spoke much, but watched and took mental note of everything that happened in the village. Harriet was a loud mouth. She wouldn’t shut up to save her life. She’s was one that knew everyone’s business and talked about it as if it was her own. Carl was Mr. tough guy on the outside, but a huge teddy bear on the inside. All of the children looked up to him, and whatever Carl said went, no questions asked.
Juliet, Harriet, and Carl were pursuing their normal evening stroll through the woods to check the crops, when they found something very strange in front of them. There sat a Hanuman monkey named Hoot. Carl quickly ran him off, as Harriet ran back to the village to tattle tell on the monkey who’d been eating all the crops. Juliet just sat there in amusement, watching the monkey’s every move, following where he ran. When Carl found his job was done and left, Juliet stayed.
“Pssssssssssssssst,” she whispered in the direction of Hoot, smiling the biggest smile.
Hoot returned her politeness with walking toward her with flowers, “For you.”
Juliet, who never spoke much ran towards him arms wide open, “thank you!”
From that moment forward, these two were the best of friends. Juliet had to keep the secret from her parents and Harriet of course, or they’d surely run him off. Where Hoot skipped, Juliet skipped. It’s as if he brought her to life. She talked to him as if she chattered every second of every day. There was no shortness of conversation, and Hoot chimed along too. They were together every breath from sun up to sun down for weeks on end.
“We’re the very best friends that there could ever be,” sang Juliet.
“Such best friends that wherever one goes, the other does too. Such friends that whenever you hurt, I hurt, such friends….” he sang back, but rudely interrupted by Harriet.
“JULIET, what are you doing down here with that blasted monkey? I’m telling mom and dad on you!” She then ran as fast as she could back to the village.
Juliet knew what was next, as Harriet just couldn’t seem to keep her mouth shut ever. She urged Hoot to run and hide and return later in the week. That he did, and Juliet acted as if nothing happened, assuring her parents that Harriet was crazy.
“Juliet, when we find that monkey he’s dead. For he has not only brain washed you, he has stolen and consumed of the villages crops for survival, and that I will not stand for,” Prince Killy abruptly spoke.
“If you kill my best friend, you will regret it,” she spoke with power. Prince Killy looked confused, as he’d never heard her talk much.
As the week without Hoot passed by Juliet was sadder than she’s ever been before. She didn’t know life without Hoot anymore, and thoughts swarmed through her mind that he might not be okay, or he might never return.
“I love Hoot with all my heart, but I fear he’s in danger if he returns here. Why can’t they accept him? He wouldn’t eat everyone’s crops if he was treated and fed like a human being. I just want him to be okay, I’ll do anything” Juliet sobbed uncontrollably, as she thought of a plan to keep him away from her killer parents.
“POW POW POW”
Juliet took off running from the village all the way to the woods, without stopping for air. She had an awful feeling. Upon arriving in the woods, Juliet saw her mom and Prince Killy, gun in hand. Looking around she found that Hoot had been shot.
“How could you, I hate you, he was my only friend, my reason for life,” Juliet shouted in a mount of pure anger.
They then sat fire to Hoot, killing him like some kind of criminal, an inhumane act.
“Go Juliet, get out of here. He ruined so many lives here, even yours, get over it”
Juliet preceded by pepper spraying the prince and her mom in the eyes, and running to the pit where Hoot lay on fire, grabbing hold of him. There she burn with Hoot in her arms, as her parents gasped for air in dismay, in immense loath.
She kept her promise to Hoot, for when he goes down, she falls down with him…
Author’s Note: I got inspiration for this story from “The Monkey and the Girl.” In this story, the children ran the monkey off until he left flowers for their approval. This then made the children amused with him. One of the young girls promised the monkey that she would marry him. This then brought the mother and father to kill the monkey. When they decided to burn his body, the young girl threw sand in their eyes to blind them, as she ran to the pit to burn with the monkey. They then concluded that she had the soul of a monkey, and blew off what had happened. I kept the main story line of what a little girl would do for her monkey, however, I changed the plot to Juliet being in love with her monkey friend as best friends, because I found it weird that she wanted to marry a monkey in the actual story. I also gave the characters names and described their personalities, giving them their own self. I added in many details that were not in the story, such as Harriet always being the tattle tale and getting everyone in trouble, giving more meaning for what happened, and how it got up to that point.
Folklore of the Santal Parganas, by Cecil Henry Bompas. An online version of this can be accessed here.
Image 1: Found in the reading, Santal, this week and can be accessed here.
Image 2: Fire pit. Source: Flickr, Steve Jurvetson.