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Fiction Holiday

You might or may be sitting there wondering why I chose that particular title for this story and if you thought it doesn’t fit the subject context you’d be absolutely wrong because this is my short story and I’m sticking to it!

I got your full attention didn’t I?

The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) or long-nosed monkey, known as the 'bekantan' in Indonesia, is an arboreal Old World monkey with an unusually large nose, a reddish-brown skin color and a long tail. The warning calls of the Proboscis Monkey are very loud. It is believed that the large nose allows for the sounds to be bolder than that of other Monkeys. The Proboscis Monkey doesn’t eat more than other Monkeys but it does look like it. My baby sister appears to be a little overweight.

All those Proboscis Monkey traits fit my baby sister Esmeralda to a monkey tee.

My family gathers 4 times in any given calendar year. Earth Day, The 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Every time the family gathered my Proboscis baby Monkey sister who by the way is a certified Psychologist with a Master’s Degree in Child Development  insisted upon falling back into her childish monkey behavior. During our Thanksgiving gathering she’d demand that we play those children games that the first settlers played on the first or second Thanksgiving.

At our last Thanksgiving gathering Esmeralda was 49 years old. In Proboscis Monkey years she would be considered to be 88 years of age. Her favorite game she insisted we play was an pilgrim game called Cobb’s Castle. You had to place three large stones close together on the ground. That’s the “cobb.” Place another stone on top. That’s the “castle.” Step back and toss stones at the castle to try to knock it down. First to do so wins.

When she didn’t win, she would put on a temper tantrum. Her temper tantrum, fit or hissy fit was an emotional outburst, usually associated with those in emotional distress, losing at any Thanksgiving games, that were typically characterized by her stubbornness, crying, screaming, violence, defiance, angry ranting, a resistance to attempts at pacification and in Esmeralda’s case, hitting and other physically violent behavior. Her physical control was way out of order and she was unable to remain still and even if the "goal" of letting her win was met, she still didn’t calm down. Her usual  tantrum was always expressed in a tirade: a protracted, angry speech. Her homely face would become a reddish-brown and she would howl the warning calls just like the Proboscis Monkey.

Esmeralda performed those childish tantrums after the Hubbub game. A game similar to heads or tails, this Wampanoag game had real little kids bounce a bowl full of flat playing pieces that were dark on one side, light on the other side onto the ground. You can play a version using a wooden salad bowl and pennies: A player chooses a side of the coin and each time her side lands up during her turn, she earns a point. Esmeralda never earned a point nor did she win at playing All Hid in which was basically another name for hide-and-seek. Organize two mixed-age teams, pairing adults with young children. You know what side she chose to be on.

She chose to be on the side of the younger monkey’s I mean children.

It was set up so that a child from each team would protect “home base” when it’s their turn to seek. She performed her family gathering tantrum over and over again.

During the Christmas family gathering she cried just like a Proboscis Baby Monkey when my mother wouldn’t allow her to play the role of the baby Jesus Christ in the nativity scene in the manger. You would have thought that the Three wiseman would have given her a spanking instead of Gold that was associated with royalty and was a gift given to kings around the time of Christ's birth. The wise men's first gift of gold symbolized Jesus' role as the King of Kings. Jesus' family may have used the gift of gold in their flight to Egypt and after leaving that region to return home, frankincense was a type of incense burned as a sacrifice and used by priests during services of worship around the time of Christ's birth. The wise men's gift of frankincense symbolized Jesus' priesthood. Jesus' family may have used the gift of frankincense for practical purposes, such as during prayer or given some to the temple priests as a sacrifice and during the time of Christ's birth, the Jews used myrrh as an embalming ointment when preparing bodies for burial. The wise men's gift of myrrh prophetically signified that Jesus was born to suffer and die, while also symbolizing his burial. The gift of myrrh also had a practical use, as Mary, Jesus' mother, may have used the myrrh for both Joseph's and Jesus' burials.

Two-thirds of the family left the gathering right after she perform her tirade. The same proboscis childish baby monkey behavior revealed itself during the 4th of July family gathering. Esmeralda insisted that the family take a trip to New York City and celebrate that occasion by the Statue of Liberty. When someone in the family stated what does the Statue of Liberty got to do with the 4th of July Esmeralda went berserk. The enraged, 49 year old Proboscis Monkey child began screaming at the entire family. “You guys are abusing your freedom! Stop it!” She  screamed as she punched my 89 year old grandmother in the face, while my mother recorded her insane action on her cell phone. No one at the gathering didn’t quite understand why she did what she did. But it all made sense when the family gathered for the last time on Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries. The family decided that it would be a better idea to gather on this date instead of Memorial Day or Easter or Labor Day or Presidents Day.

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

For some strange reason, my baby sister Esmeralda never utter one word or performed like an adolescent child that particular gathering.

It was rumored that my older brother who favored the bald uakari or bald-headed uakari a small New World monkey characterized by a very short tail; bright, crimson face; a bald head; and long coat explained to her in monkey language that if she acted up at this family gathering she would be sent to Thailand, who were accused by PETA of forcing chained-up monkeys to do hard labor in the form of coconut picking.

November 25, 2020 10:48

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