In the Zoo

“Mommy, Mommy!” Terence called. “Look over there! What’s the monkey doing?”

“Oh God, Terry, don’t look!” Emma grabbed her child and shielded his eyes. Across the pen, a monkey was masturbating furiously, laughing at the public that watched him in fascination and horror.

“Excuse me,” Emma said, grabbing the nearest zoo official. “What do think this is, some kind of creepy peep show? My child is now traumatized!”

“By what, ma’am?” the zookeeper asked.

“The monkey!”

“What about the monkey?”

Emma gave an exasperated sigh, then lowered her voice. “He’s…jacking off. In front of everyone.”

The zookeeper looked over, then nodded. “Yup. That he is.”


“Part of the experience, ma’am. Monkeys do that. More often than you’d think. And we’re here to give people a sense of animals, as they are. We can’t very will hide this.”

“Well,” Emma said, “I think it’s terribly offensive. My poor child is scarred now, thanks to these kind of grotesque shows you’re putting on here.”

The zookeeper was just in the midst of rolling his eyes when Terence twisted to look at his mother, fighting her hands over his ears.

“Mommy! It’s so funny! It’s just like they talk about in school.”

“WHAT?!” Emma shrieked, causing others to turn and look at her, wondering what the commotion was. The zookeeper grinned and walked away while Emma squatted to interrogate her child, already formulating the angry letters she was going to write.


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