At lunchtime, we headed to the picnic area and my parents spread the food out on a picnic table. My brother, my sister and I all reached for peanut butter sandwiches, despite Dad encouraging us to try egg salad instead. My dad has a serious love for egg salad sandwiches; he simply couldn’t understand why his children – his progeny – didn’t share it.
I remember him frowning, slightly annoyed at how we were all turning up our noses at his egg salad sandwiches.
I don't remember being afraid. At the time, it seemed normal for a large baboon to get loose from his enclosure and wander over towards us. I guess that so many strange things happen in a small child’s life that this didn’t even register on my radar. Looking back, I can only imagine how nervous my parents must have been.
My dad shouted at him, trying to scare him off, but the baboon bared his teeth at us.
Fact: baboons have very large teeth.
source: Ephraim Muller
He kept coming. Slowly, slowly, my parents took their three young kids by the hand and backed away from the table.
The baboon climbed up and sat in the middle of our picnic. None of us moved or spoke as he reached out a long, hairy arm and picked up a sandwich.
He took a bite of the egg salad sandwich and then, with a glare, he flung it to the ground.
He reached out again, this time grabbing a peanut butter sandwich.
And this time? He ate the whole thing. Every last peanut buttery bite.
I will never forget the look of shock and indignation on my father's face.
Egg salad sandwiches: not even fit for a baboon.
Epilogue: I don’t remember anything beyond the sandwich-throwing, but my mom told me that the zookeepers came within minutes to recapture the baboon. No one - including the baboon - was physically harmed, although our lunch was ruined and my dad was insulted by a giant monkey.
Author's note: my dad makes fantastic egg salad sandwiches. I like them now. Sorry it took me so long, Dad.
Author's other note: my mom told me that the baboon didn't have a red and blue nose. But really, what's the point of making a plasticine baboon if you can't give him a red and blue nose? Or maybe I should just cut the question short and ask: what's the point of making a plasticine baboon?
Author's other other note: if I ever complain that I'm too busy to do something, please point me to this post and remind me that I once spent nearly an hour making a baboon and miniature sandwiches out of plasticine. And then I drove to the dollar store to buy a piece of astroturf. And then I drove home and spent another hour taking, editing and uploading photos of said miniature plasticine sandwiches. So yeah...really not so busy.