Mable the Monkey was born when I was a child on a trip to Estes Park. She was sitting on a shelf in Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe with a variety of bears, horses, and several other monkeys of different colors. Mable and her sister Julie were the only white monkeys in the shop, and we immediately bought them both to take home with us.
Julie stayed with me in my room, making friends with my other stuffed animals, getting constant attention, and finding her fur ever more matted and in need of grooming. Mable stayed in a bird cage atop our foyer closet (living arrangements for which I never got an explanation I considered adequate) in my mother’s attentive care. Her fur stayed a shiny white, and she stayed in excellent health.
When inevitably it came time for Julie to go to the Great Stuffed Jungle in the Sky, I was old enough to inherit Mable, and she continues to sit in a corner of my apartment with her gorilla friend Ian, fur still white, posture still perfect, and smile still endearing.
Naturally, Sophie has adopted Mable as her new friend. I introduced them almost the moment she walked in my door.
This is Mable, the monkey! And this is Ian, the gorilla! They’re friends.
Sophie nodded, hugged them, and ran off to play.
Today, when I came home from work, Sophie brought Mable out to the couch and announced, “George is hungry!’
When I naturally answered, in Sophie-friendly language, “Who the heck is George?,” she just replied, “George! He’s hungry!” and offered Mable for my inspection.
“No, Sophie, that’s Mable! She’s a girl monkey.”
That was three hours ago.
She’s still George.