For a split second he soars, a look of terror on his face.

Jump Little Monkey

Dan Robinson

Next to a busy main road in Hong Kong, sitting on a green water tank, I watch a mother and her daughter Rhesus Macaque engaged in a vigorous grooming session.

Next to them, the cutest little monkey squats on a fence. He's trying to build up the courage to jump from the fence to the water tank and join mum and big sis. He swings his little body on his legs to gain momentum, then chickens out and stops himself, whimpering for attention. Mum ignores him, she’s busy grooming her daughter. He must do it by himself.

I'm gripped. I keep a respectful distance and silently cheer him on. ‘Come on! Jump little Monkey!’

Eventually he leaps. For a split second he soars, a look of terror on his face. He slaps into the side of the water tank, barely clinging on with his hands, his little legs wiggling frantically, whimpering for help. When he finally manages to get up, he falls straight into the arms of his mother, shivering with excitement. She gives him this warm congratulatory cuddle, as if to say she's proud he did it all by himself. Then, with one arm, she continues grooming her other child.


Banner image: "Rhesus macaques - Lion Hill, Hong Kong" by cattan2011 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rhesus Macaques sketch by Dan Robinson

Author bio: Dan is an Outdoor Educator and masters students of ‘Environmental Humanities’. He has been enchanted by the natural world since a child.

Location: Hong Kong