Education of even the lowliest works, as this story of a homeless boy and a baby Vervet monkey testify.
Carol Booth with Monkey Helpline in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa shared this heartwarming story with us via Facebook and we had to post it here for you.
Education at whatever level it happens can never be a waste of time and resources. So it was today…
In quick succession we received three phone calls from motorists who saw a teenage boy holding a baby monkey at the 45th Cutting traffic light intersection in Sherwood, Durban.
I asked the first caller, “Is the boy trying to sell the monkey?”
She responded, “No. It appears he is trying to force feed it with a baby bottle.”
Ah! A picture began to form. This boy must be a young teenage street kid well known to us. Whilst waiting at the traffic light we frequently have long conversations with this young hustler. He sells fruit and begs. We help him we can.
Sure enough when we arrive at 45th Cutting, there is Freedom, with the baby monkey clutched to his chest with one hand and a baby bottle of milk in the other. We hoot as we pull over to the other side and Freedom’s face breaks into an enormous grin and he nearly jumps out of his skin with delight as he rushes over the road to greet us.
How did he come by the monkey?
A mother monkey was run over by a car further along the road where he lives and some men walking past stopped and picked up her body to take her off for a meal. Streetwise, Freedom conned them into giving him the baby monkey, with the story that, according to him, made them fearful and only too happy to give it up.
Knowing that we would be passing through that intersection at least once during the day, he rushed back to 45th Cutting with the baby, and stood stoically, in the searing heat on the median waiting for us to pass through.
Freedom told us that a few people had asked him if they could buy the monkey from him, but, educated by Monkey Helpline as he was, he had indignantly told them that this was illegal and could get him and them into jail. He insisted to all who stopped to enquire about the baby monkey, that Monkey Helpline was already on their way. As tragic as the circumstances are that led to the baby being in Freedom’s care it is also a heartwarming story for us to tell.
Baby Freedom as we have named the little monk, now has a happy future to look forward to. Had Freedom (the boy) not rescued him, he would have died soon or faced a very unhappy, uncertain future.
We at Monkey Helpline are very thankful to a young street urchin’s quick thinking and compassion, and to the motorists who cared enough to call us.
Love warm fuzzy stories like this!