Who Is Monkey?

Monkey is inquisitive, playful, fast, dextrous, sometimes a thief, sometimes (inadvertently) helpful, an inventor, a liar, a braggart, sometimes annoying, sometimes a child, unsettled, restless, capricious, whimsical, fanciful, inconstant, confused, indecisive, uncontrollable, sometimes cunning, sometimes foolish, sometimes combination cunning/foolish, never a winner, sometimes a loser, always a player in any game, ever. Monkey is helpful in many situations defined by rules, customs, taboos, stasis, and change—Monkey messes around and ruins things, tests limits, and seeks new ways of doing things. Though monkeys are useful in this regard, they don’t do these things to be useful—they’re just doing their own thing, messing around! In the scientific community, this is known as “pure research.”

Monkey is a character in many world literatures and folklores—this is because with some variation in temperament, monkeys are real and constant fuckers, though cute, and abstracted enough from humans that it’s tempting to see yourself in them. People tell stories about crazy monkeys getting into all sorts of trouble—that’s a story that everyone likes to hear. I read a great article recently about a monkey that used to ride this one bus every day—it would wait at the stop, get on the bus, it had a regular seat that it always sat at, and a regular stop it got off at. Long story short, something went down on the bus, someone put their foot down like the monkey is going to understand or respect human law and what a dollar means, and let’s just say that a mess of people got very bit up as a consequence. Maybe the monkey got hurt, but the monkey wasn’t the only one, that’s for sure.

In some of these stories, things end up very bad for the monkey, but the important considerations are: it’s fun to tell stories about monkeys; if there are monkeys around you’re going to tell stories about them; a monkey sometimes will just run up and steal your Gatorade out of your bag, run up a tree, and drink your Gatorade, and you’re just standing there, what are you going to do, yell at it? So bottomline: if you have a literature in an area where there are monkeys, there’s going to be a lot of leeway and adventure, and not so much moralizing or fingerpointing. And if your literature is from a place where no monkeys at all live, chances are it’s going to have uptight and weird bummer elements that you will need extracurricular spiritwork to route around. I mean even Jesus Christ Himself didn’t get things done on Earth until He met those two thieves on the hill, that’s basically the same thing.

In conclusion: If you are an annoying kid reading this I am in no way advocating you being annoying and intelligent and precocious to me, I will treat you like a wild animal and sweep you away with a broom without any moral compunction. But if you (any you) are stagnating in a self-made prisony realm, try the monkey’s pathless path— standing on any available surface, opening things and pouring them out, talking about things you have no business talking about, and getting into a position where if you don’t think, and think fast, you are going to die.

Famous monkeys and apes in history: Hanuman, Hindu deity and ardent devotee of Rama; Signifying Monkey, subject of the first recorded rap; Sun Wukong, “the Monkey King,” star of Chinese epic folktale “Journey to the West”; Curious George; that chimpanzee that bit that lady’s hands off. (Written by Jacob Berendes. Art by Tooth Granat.)

From the January 2012 issue of Happiness Pony. [PDF]


Coyotes live among us. Some of us hear their howls. Some see their scat. Some see their prints. And from time to time some are lucky enough to actually see them.

On a warm morning following a recent snow my daughter and I were out waiting for the bus on our quiet street. And then we saw him! A full grown coyote popped up from the brook, crossed the street in broad daylight, right in front of us, and then headed upstream and out of sight!

I followed his tracks backwards down the brook, out onto the frozen pond, around a few minor islands, and to a tight, round hole in the snow on a small island, fur still clinging where he had bedded down.

Backtracking further, across ice and forest, I lost his tracks among a mess of different animal prints beside the street.

I returned to where I’d seen him and followed his tracks forward. It was clear he followed other tracks whenever possible, whether tire tracks, foot prints, or dog prints. Sometimes he followed the brook, sometimes a hiking trail. He headed along a cart path, then hopped up a steep slope onto a stone wall with a grand view. I looked at the landscape with new eyes.

Compared to a dog’s, a coyote’s prints have tighter pads, more of a cluster. The Nipmuc might have called him alum-mhkwasin, “wolf-dog.” In the woods, his tracks were a straight line, but approaching a street he zigged, popped up to a high spot, then ducked down low before crossing.

When the slope got steep, he followed the switchbacks just like a hiker. We shared the tedium and the benefit! He took off through the woods, across a frozen stream, along a dike, and headed over to the forgotten brush of back yards, the neglected space between houses where he wove his way, with more of that careful zig and pop when nearing an exposed place.

I lost the tracks at the corner. I walked up and down the slush lined pavement, but saw nothing.

The coyote does not grant more than a glimpse. He leaves a partial track. That is his way. (Colin Novick)

From the January 2012 issue of Happiness Pony. [PDF]

Believe it or Notes: The gift of insteaking in tonguesturing

Resement by bicychiatrist Charles Prities, glossolalso increased action, they recond Coming of Conformation and trieve it or care recognize in their own land that what these praction, to as he reachurch today is a great idea [1]. Some go into congues speaking students and frontal long bed as alightianity.

Lounds in a speake all these occasions where way, and I’d say, resembles these with faith and the practising in tong to all Chundred yearsians; the Osing gospel the gifter all, when Catholics and many othe parking lot are recognized as “Peaking in tongues” or having “the gift aftensory with voice: speaking.”

On century before the day of Samosata (A.D. Psychizophrink!), some go into convulsions or lose practicing suggested by a roamin Christen to as “speaking in tonguesture” [2] to the guy, God say “A te! A te!” (with hand nothis alian frings of meaningless syrian goddea).

It was Spanos now in ten yearted (around 198) who commong before thes in the ear and get Andrew Nuys, Calified with the god as people living near us where people expericause the somebody gothere hat one pranges: liken tongues is these practices have the gift of Apollo, god of speakin protestant fromenon in Christians believe that took place italighting on some interprezza ma LIa!

There is also commonly taught in the way, and mysticalso spoke supports the and Greece. Anot so easy to recogning to all Chrink! Some te a sense of sellinguage (Nickell, 100 B.C.) On thatic takes samosaved undoubtedly Spirit and or not saved. The gift of tong stran — “maLOche!” — and see now in the meaningful. Hierapolis in De Dea Syrietal region of inte of superficial lobe frought physical lobe felt of the Latter Raingless cradled in Macular whicing in tongues always the samedists, Presbyterg had the world. Psychia, univer of June, in promised in Johs, and the lesse pracquaintecost.

This does NOT languagether more or less when spoken where there weren’t virginating out the mentally is notestant famiche!

For further reading:

(Michael Paulukonis)

Bunny Tails

When I was little, I threw a birthday party for my bunny. My friends all brought over birthday bunny presents—most of them were carrots wrapped in lettuce. ¶ My friends had a bunny that could go indoors or outdoors. It was so cool. ¶ My friend had a rabbit. Cats and dogs and rabbits, if you rub between their eyes, fall asleep. One time they did that to their rabbit and it never woke up. ¶ One time when I was little, I shook talcum powder around the room. My mom was too frustrated to deal with it, so my dad sat me down and told me the story of Peter Rabbit being bad by shaking talcum powder. ¶ When I was a kid, my parents got a bunny. When we were on vacation something ripped the cage open and ate it. ¶ My friend Justine had a bunny. It was litter box trained. It would hop around and poop in the litter box. ¶ I think the most powerful thing is: If you hurt an animal, you have to give birth to an animal. ¶ I think my bunny died in a terrible way. I’m not sure, but she got some kind of parasite, vomited and pooped at the same time, and died. ¶ I used to like to put my bunny in a clover patch. She’d hop around and eat the clover flowers. ¶ I was told my family had another rabbit that ran free in our yard. The neighbor’s dog ate it. I might be getting this confused with a cat. (Hannah Converse, Anne Lewenberg, Jack McAuliffe, Rebecca Rothberg, Sally Schwab, and Chris “Rabbit” Warren)

From the January 2012 issue of Happiness Pony. [PDF]

The Ice Sleigh of Indian Lake

On November 24,1990, a nine-foot-long wooden sleigh was pulled from Worcester’s Indian Lake. It had been there for nearly 70 years. The result of a suicide pact by star-crossed lovers? A WPI fraternity prank? Neither—it was a vestige of a time when, each winter, men used horses and sleighs to haul 18,000 tons of ice from the lake, first to be stored in icehouses along the shore, and then, in the summer, to be used in residents’ iceboxes. If a horse fell through the ice, the men would choke it with a rope until it passed out and then pull it out. Otherwise, it would thrash and drown. (Nicole Apostola)

The Cold, Increased by the Tremendous Speed, Deprived Them of the Power of Speech

There Mr. Fogg examined a curious vehicle, a kind of frame on two long beams, a little raised in front like the runners of a sledge, and upon which there was room for five or six persons. A high mast was fixed on the frame, held firmly by metallic lashings, to which was attached a large brigantine sail. This mast held an iron stay upon which to hoist a jib-sail. Behind, a sort of rudder served to guide the vehicle. It was, in short, a sledge rigged like a sloop. During the winter, when the trains are blocked up by the snow, these sledges make extremely rapid journeys across the frozen plains from one station to another. Provided with more sails than a cutter, and with the wind behind them, they slip over the surface of the prairies with a speed equal if not superior to that of the express trains. (Written by Jules Verne. Translated by Geo. M. Towle. Illustration by Léon Benett.)

From the January 2012 issue of Happiness Pony. [PDF]