Even a hungry baboon deserves to eat; this is why Stephen felt sorry for him. The baboon stood behind the bars of his cage, looking forlorn, staring at the man’s bag of nuts. But the sign said “Please do not feed the Animals; they are on a Special Diet, and may not take well to the food.”
Stephen felt sad, and looked around for evidence of the special diet. There was a small piece of orange peel sitting next to a plate that had been licked clean. So Stephen left, vowing to return the next day with proper food.
He brought three oranges with him the next morning, and, when he was sure no one was looking, tossed one through the bars. The baboon caught it in mid air, and tore it apart hungrily. The man watched, fascinated. When the baboon had finished, and there were only a few pieces of peel on the ground, he tossed the second one in, and the baboon did the same. The man withheld the third orange while he toured the rest of the zoo. He eventually circled back to the baboon’s cage after a few hours, and the baboon, recognizing him, stood up and came toward the edge of his enclosure. The man took the third orange, and held it out to the baboon. The animal’s fingers gently plucked it from Stephen’s weathered old hand, and their fingers touched. Stephen smiled, and he thought the baboon did, too. The baboon then tore in to the orange with glee, juice spraying flying everywhere.
Three days later, Stephen brought four more oranges, and an apple. He spent the day sneaking these to the baboon, who took them gently from his hand each time.
After several months of Stephen intermittently sneaking food in, the zoo announced it would be closing. The animals were being sold off to other zoos, and Stephen, dressed in a crisp suit, approached the zookeeper about adopting the baboon, who appeared rather aged himself. The zookeeper said that would be impossible, to which Stephen offered a sum of money the zookeeper could not refuse. The baboon went home with Stephen that day, though the record said he had been sold to the North Korean Zoo.
At Stephen’s home, the baboon received all the food he needed, and though he never became obese, he was well fed, and happy. And as he was given a proper diet, the baboon started to explore. Eventually he found the music room, and, finding the piano, he started pressing keys, delighted by the sound. Stephen heard him, and came in. Sitting beside him, he taught the baboon how to play three blind mice. The baboon, entranced, played it over and over again, until Stephen later taught him Au Claire de la Lune. Each day, he taught the baboon a new piece of music, getting progressively harder, until the baboon was working on Chopin preludes.
It was then that Stephen entered the baboon in a music festival. The rest, of course, is history.