I don’t want to bury the lead here – something newsworthy and heartwarming happened today, but I do feel that it requires a little bit of set-up…
The morning greeted us with calm and fair weather after a very windy night, so J.B. decided we should take advantage of the unseasonable warmth and throw a little early impromptu Christmas party for the chimpanzees.
He and Kelsi decorated the trees of Christmases past that are planted on the hill. Anna came up with cute and yummy “ornaments” by cutting out heart shapes in pieces of pineapple using a cookie cutter.
If you know anything about Negra, it’s probably that she’s not an early-riser, generally preferring to linger in bed. This morning, however, she was the first out of the raceway to investigate the breakfast party.
She marched right up to the trees, and we all remarked to one another that she was further up on the hill than she’d been all year.
Perhaps she overheard us and thought, “hold my pineapple.”
What she did next was without precedent.
Missy had grabbed a pineapple ornament, a book, and a pineapple top from the tree and climbed up high to Jamie’s Lookout, joining Foxie and Jamie:
Foxie and Jamie soon departed.
Anna saw J.B., who was taking photos on the other side of the fence, run up the hill. Then we all heard him exclaim over the radio that Negra was climbing up the ladder to Jamie’s Lookout.
The Towers: Jamie’s Lookout and Carlene’s Tower were conceived of and built by founder Keith LaChappelle and friends in the summer of 2015 (I had to search for this blog post to find out the exact timeline).
Negra has never been to the top of this structure.
But today, five and a half years later, she climbed right up and sat next to Missy as though she had done it a hundred times before.
Perhaps you can discern her motivation and feel the subtle pressure she is asserting over Missy in this photo:
Missy soon finished her pineapple ornament and took Negra’s cue, leaving the pineapple top behind. Negra stayed up there, on top of the world, for a wonderfully long amount of time.
And then she climbed down holding the pineapple top and book (which she no doubt hoped contained peanut butter between its pages) in her mouth.