As long as we have known her, Annie has been one of the most playful members of the Cle Elum Seven. She and Missy can barely stop playing long enough to eat. But she has always played exclusively with the other chimps, and never with us. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. If she wants to play with the other chimps all day and rely on us just to serve meals and clean, that’s OK.
But lately she has been engaging us in games of tickle and chase, and it is quite an honor. There have been so many changes in the chimps lately that its hard to keep up, but I guess she’s just feeling more comfortable around us now.
Which leads me to wonder: How well do we know the Cle Elum Seven? Every time we see a new side of one of the chimps, I wonder if we are finally seeing their real personality. But I’ve realized that while we are trying to figure out who they are, they are just beginning to figure it out for themselves. How much of your personality can come through when you are trapped in a small cage for 20 or 30 years?
Its difficult to imagine what they are going through now, but it is a joy to watch and to be a part of.