Tuesday, June 29

Taunt the Researcher

Pretty much every day among the baboons is quirky in one or two ways. That's part of what makes field work so great. One or two quirks aren't much though, but they're certainly enough to sustain you between occasional days that are rife with bizarre or unruly behavior.

One day filled with low level quirkiness, I was hounded by a small band of young juveniles for much of the day. Or at least it seemed that way. They might also have been entirely different groups of juveniles, for all I could tell. There are so many infants and juveniles around, and they all grow like weeds, making it quite difficult to tell them all apart.

In the morning, I was first surprised by a young baboon who for some reason or other, voluntary or involuntary, fell out of a tree and landed on my backpack. I felt very little on impact; I was much more surprised by the noise. Given that all these events were transpiring beyond the rear side of my skull, I was mightily confused for a few seconds. On turning around, I found nothing unusual - there were some young baboons running around and playing nearby. Then I thought to look up, and there spied a couple of hairy munchkins peering curiously down at me. Ah! I thought to myself, and it all came together. Above all, I was relieved that the little one hadn't handed on my face or made a racket to attract the attention of adults to the incident.

Several hours later, near noon, I took a short rest under a tall pine tree. I sat down in the grass and pulled off my pack to stretch my back and shoulders. I felt an unforeseen tingle of sensation on my cheek. I brushed at it in shock and surprise, and felt more tingles around my face. After a few seconds of wild flailing, I came to my sense, and realized that I had been showered in a light flurry of dried pine needles. My gaze shot upwards, into the foliage. Directly above me, a baboon coyly perched, head cocked, eyes innocently fixed on me.

There's nothing worse than cuteness and mischief all mixed up in one.

1 comment:

  1. I find cuteness and mischief to be a rather charming combination.