Baboon in the Family

A true story of a baboon rescued from a Lagos market in the 1950s. Written in an era long since passed, the story portrays life prior to Nigerian independence.

Jackie our pet baboon eating a banana
She lay, a small furry bundle in a wire cage, bewildered and trembling with fear. The mid-day sun beat down on the hustling West African market, the coconut matting shades giving little relief from the intense heat. Everywhere was a confusion of colour noise and smell; barefoot traders carried their wares upon their heads and goats, dogs and chickens mingled freely with the crowd.
Among this colourful throng was a stall which offered for sale an exotic variety of small animals, birds and reptiles. Tethered to a branch were several angry looking chameleons, normally brilliant green, today black from anger and the dull colour of the market stall. Three African grey parrots were confined in small cages and in a wicker basket lay a lethargic young python.
Every so often the misery of the small, caged baboon would turn into fury and she would leap up and down screaming with fear. Then, fully aware of her predicament would succumb and huddle quietly on the rough tin floor of her cage until her indignation would mount again to a wild frenzy. She was confined in a small rusty parrot cage, the fastening being reinforced with wire, as her captor was as afraid of her as she was of him.
Yesterday, there had been the warmth and security of her mother’s body; the frolics with the other youngsters in the troop, the endless grooming, chattering and foraging in the forests. Then there was a terrified ear-splitting screeching as the troop raced through the undergrowth in an effort to thwart the hunters who pursued them. Suddenly her mother fell and rough hands dragged the young baboon away into the strange and frightening world of humans...

Baboon Story Audio

To read the full story download the attachment below.
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Download this file (Baboon in the Family.pdf)Baboon in the Family.pdfBaboon in the Family ~ Nigeria in the 1950s1009 kB