… and the war is on!
There are those who see us only as a source for theft, who will do what they can to steal from those of us who work hard for what we have. They are the ones who wish us harm and will smile at us while planning their next attack.
I love my Saturday mornings, when I can sleep late and then sit out on the patio with my coffee and cinnamon roll. Afterwards, I will sit in the sun with my eyes closed, soaking in the sunshine. This morning, as I sat in the solitude, I heard a rustle in the trees. Opening my eyes, I quickly saw where branches were still moving, but nothing that caused it. Closed my eyes again and a minute later, more rustle. This time I was quick enough, and saw that my greatest fear has been realized. The monkeys have returned.
When we first arrived in Addis, one of the first Saturday mornings we sat outside with our coffee and breakfast, we had the little critters show up. We found them cute and lovable, even getting them to feed out of our hands. If you remember the pictures we posted of Terese feeding one. While they gathered around to welcome us to the neighborhood, others ran through the flower beds eating anything that was not green, while the younger ones jump in and out of the trees. We did notice there was unusual commotion elsewhere in the yard, but it wasn’t until they moved on, did we notice the debauchery that had taken place in our yard. Terese felt bad Monday morning when Michael, the gardener showed up and almost fainted at what was left of his garden.
I have to admit, there was a bit of guilt at letting this happen, because Michael is very proud of his work, as he should be. I don’t remember if I blamed it on Terese, or she blamed it on me, but it was at this time we realized, the monkeys are no longer welcomed in our yard.
If one or two comes to our yard and stays high up in the tree eating the seeds that grow on it, it would be no problem. But if one or two show up, others follow and before you know it, they are having a block party. They are not dumb. They have seen us go in and out of our house, and realize the handle on the door has something to do with opening it. One had the audacity to come into our kitchen while Terese was doing dishes and attempt to eat an apple, still wrapped in cellophane, knocking over the trashcan in the process.
Last year when I battled these little degenerates, I first tried using the water hose to drive them away. The only place it drove them was higher in the trees. They would go just beyond the water stream and no further, as if they wanted to feel the mist on a hot day. Soon I found a water squirter in Michael’s room. One of these things you fill with water and press the plunger. It sent water higher, but still not enough. In the meantime, Shawn, the gardener next door would just throw rocks at them. I tried that, but it just gave the idiots something to laugh about. I may even have heard a snicker from my wife.
It just got worse. The more I battled them, the more would show up. It’s as if one ran back to the others and said, “Hey guys, the idiot with the water hose wants to play with us again!!” They stayed just out of reach and at times would hunker down behind the back wall of the yard, and send one of the youngest ones to slowly raise its head above the wall to see if I was still there. If I felt they were all gone, or if I went back inside to get more coffee, when I returned, the whole troop would be bouncing through the trees again.
So, I knew something else had to be used. I contacted some people back in the States and had a secret weapon sent to me. It had to be disassemble to make it unrecognizable by any Government inspector, and shipped to me in three separate containers. After weeks of anticipation, the weaponry finally arrived. I quickly hid in the back room giggling while assembling the slingshot. I knew I had ‘em now!
Okay, now I am a humanitarian of sorts. At that time, I didn’t really want to kill the little bastards, just drive them away. So I ordered some rock salt to use as ammo, just in case any of the projectiles gets under their skin, it wouldn’t cause an infection. But it took only a few shots to realize it disperses too quickly and will not get to the target. So I came up with an excellent idea, if I say so myself. One word – paintball. These are the little balls with paint inside that are used all over the country in mock battles. They are usually shot with paintball guns using highly compressed air. I ordered a small pack of 50 caliber paintballs as a test. This Saturday morning, I had my opportunity to test them.
So, as I mentioned above, the monkeys have returned. I quickly headed in the house, grabbed the weapon and ammo, and went out onto one of the upper balconies. One lone critter climbed up high in a tree, and sat in a clearing. I pulled back the strong elastic tubing of the weapon, aimed and released. In less than a heartbeat, the yellow paintball pierced through the air and hit the little sucker right in the chest! It evidently did not break, probably due to the thick fur as I heard the ball fall to the roof of the little building below and roll away. But I know it stung, as the monkey yelled out, “Holy bananas!” and quickly disappeared down and did not return. Not even to see what the heck happened like they normally would.
Normally when I try to fight them, many show up to watch the fiasco, but it was about 5 minutes before any of them came around. I’m thinking the one I hit ran back to the others saying, “Hey, don’t go in that tree over there, because if you do your chest will hurt like hell!”
Several things have come out of this.
- The monkeys came
- The monkeys were driven away.
- The monkeys will return.
- … and I will be ready.
- As I type this, it is now Dwaine: 1, and Monkeys: 0.