The fact that there are two Monkey Forests in Bali occasionally
causes confusion, although they are some distance apart and vastly
differen in character.
"big" Monkey Forest at Sangeh boasts of two rival packs
of nimble and aggressive monkeys who have a low tolerance to tourists
and regard them merely as the local version of meals on wheels.
More enthusiasm is generated if the tourist is carrying a camera
or handbag which can be snatched out of an unsuspecting hand, to
reappear seconds later dangled tauntingly from the top of a tall
comparison, the inhabitants of the "little" Monkey Forest
on the outskirts of Ubud, while being conspicuously lacking in haloes,
are less exhuberant, contenting themselves with filching the odd
cob of corn from a visitor's pocket. Most times they can by
seen chattering softly to themselves, as they swing through the
rustling forest foliage, or sit on topmost boughs, dark silhouettes
against a brilliant sky.
However, there was once a monkey, named Bojog, who was noticeably
neglects to mention which Forest he came from, but we have it on
good authority that he was more than a little disenchanted with
why, he couldn't rightly tell. But when he heard his grandpappy
waffling on about the "good old days", he reflected uneasily
that to date he had not even one adventure worth telling to his
was all very well, he admitted, to swing from branch to branch through
the trees. This toned up the muscles no end, and
was great for showing off to the girlfriend, but as a year-in year-out
version, it did tend to get just the teeniest bit boring.
it was good clean fun to make a daily raid on the warung at the
edge of the Forest. A handful of toffees and a few ricecakes not
to mention the odd banana snatched on the way out - made a welcome
change of diet
too, there was always the up and coming crop of young monkeys to
discipline. Would they never learn that when their elders were taking
their mid-morning nap, they did not want their tails tweaked or
their fur searched for vermin No matter how sharp the cuffs and
strong the language - next day they were at it again.
couldn't altogether claim it was an empty life, because you didn't
really lack entertainment. To climb affectionately onto a tourist's
well-dressed shoulder and pee discreetly down his new shirt was
always a sure pick-me-up for a fit of the blues.
there was no doubt that the monkeys were missing out on something
- and what they lacked was culture. Yes, it was humiliating - but
it was true. Of all the forest creatures, they alone hd no community
only had to look at the herons to see the difference. Morning and
night these birds would form a graceful ballet in the sky as they
flew to and from the rice paddies.
talking of paddies, even the lowly frogs who had been skilful enough
to dodge the probing beaks of the herons during the day, turned
on a boisterous ear-splitting chorus every evening.
While, of course, the myriad birds forever flitting through 'title
Forest, united to greet the dawn, with what could only be described
as an operatic overature.
then, what to do If all other species had some type of cultural
outlet, why not the monkeys But whenever he approached any Of the
tribe with his ideas, they commenced whispering behind their hands
and sidling off. This treatment can make a chap feel rejected.
it was not surprising when one day Bojog found a goat nibbling at
a patch of weeds near the Forest, he lost no time