Today we humans, well, okay, this human, did a victory lap around the chimp house because the chimp Gods smiled upon us all. For this one blissful day the chimps have been utterly calm, at ease and quiet today. No fights have ensued, no screaming, no biting. Everyone has shifted with relative ease (with the exception of Mr Willy B, who has seemingly claimed two of the front rooms as his own personal bachelor pad and refuses to leave) which has allowed us to clean the chimps’ home to our hearts content.
First order of business this morning was Anthony kindly removing half of the plastic strips covering the entrance to the chute which vexed Foxie to no end last night. Today she mustered her courage and even though each passing required hair standing on end and pushing herself again the doorframe so as not to touch the remaining offending flaps as she quickly raced through, she did in fact race back and forth all day long on her own. Brave heart. And so Jamie, Jody, Foxie, Annie and Missy have joyfully spent the day coming in and out and racing around Young’s Hill to their hearts’ content.
Over in the original building, Willy B, of his own choice, enjoyed the day in his increasingly wild looking “bachelor pad” (every time he exited and I approached to close it off, he quickly leaped back in!). Negra has contently been napping in the sun in front of her favored playroom window, Burrito and Mave spent at least a couple hours grooming one another in the next sun puddle over, and the very second that Burrito left Mave’s side, Honey B slid right in, hooting softly and spooning Mave in contentment. (After all, who among us doesn’t want to spoon with Mave?). And later in the afternoon, with the other ladies off Young’s Hill (to avoid any unnerving kerfuffles at the raceway leading to the greenhouse), Mave and Honey B headed into the late afternoon sun-warmed greenhouse, scooping up blankets as they went and made nests to each other, enjoying peaceful afternoon naps.
As I write this, we have one hour to go before lights out and it’s about time for the chimps’ internal clocks to go off, meaning the chimp house is about to erupt in hooting and hollering and general ruckus raising in excitement for dinner, and as a call and response to one another in opposite sides of the building. Today was just one day and things literally change in the blink of an eye or the sound of a hoot or a scream. But to see each of the chimps seemingly feeling truly at ease today, enjoying activities they normally do, but understandably haven’t had a lot of concentration for in some time, it’s been a gift. A brief lull for everyone to catch their breath, be at peace, enjoy the beautiful autumn day, their friends and the things they love. It all may sound like not such a big deal. But given the last few months, sometimes it truly the little things that are actually the truly big things.
Here’s Jamie feeling snoozy, hiding behind one of her brilliant kitchenette forts, warming up after enjoying a brisk autumn day outside: