This morning I strolled down the hill looking at the sides of the trail carefully and brandishing my monkey stick (aka old mop handle found on the sde of the road after my first monkey encounter). Suddenly in front of me were many, many little baby monkeys and I froze. Where were their mothers?
It was as though I was staring at a monkey nursery. I banged my stick against the iron railing and they didn't seem to hear. They continued their leisurely meander down the cement path and when I looked behind me, there were more. Some men passed me on their way up the hill. "Monkeys," one of them smiled. He seemed very calm about the whole thing and certainly he and his companion had passed through the merry throng, unassailed by worried mothers.
I started to continue my descent, preceded by many little monkeys. "Git along little dogies," I muttered but then one of the babies stopped and regarded me with great curiosity, which was not what I wanted to see at all.
Suddenly a young man appeared behind me, smiling and unconcerned. "I'm afraid," I admitted and he said, "They won't hurt you." He beckoned to me to walk with him, past the large monkey that was sitting on the railing. "Ignore them and they will ignore you," he told me, "but if you seem aggressive, they will be the same way." So through the kindness of Ben, who has co-existed with Shatin's monkeys all of his life, I've entered the world of Monkey 101, but I still feel apprehensive about that climb home tonight. Such a coward at heart!