A Band of Gypsies

_MG_5376Vervet monkeys are the itinerant opportunists of the bush.  They move about in troops of about 10-20 members, seizing any chance to help themselves to your hospitality.


This troop visited us yesterday, and took the opportunity to refresh themselves with a bit of a pool party in our waterhole.

_MG_5423aThey’re appealing creatures, with very touching (pardon the pun) habits like grooming each other, conspicuous care for their infants, and absolutely wild follow-my-leader games among the troop’s adolescents.  The dominant male takes the part of a long-suffering father, and occasionally snarls at the teenagers’ unruly antics, but it’s more out of convention than in genuine anger.  The suggestion of the human is inescapable.

And they’re relentlessly brazen.  Leave a door or window open and unattended, and the vervets will send a light-fingered scout or two to test your defences.   Any cupboard left ajar will be investigated, any fruit bowl will be plundered.  They’ll do it even if you’re in the room with your back momentarily turned.

If surprised in mid-larceny, a vervet miscreant will assume an expression of wide-eyed, open-mouthed shock that would do justice to even the most over-the-top pantomime performance.  It’ll freeze in this outrageous pose for just one comic moment, and then be gone in less than a heartbeat.

_MG_5453aBut this group was more interested in splashing about in the cool water than in burglary.  They waded, dived, dunked each other completely under, and generally had a ball.  They even appeared to hold a baptism.

They may be the most shameless bandits, but it’s impossible to not like vervets.  Artful Dodgers, every one.


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4 Responses to A Band of Gypsies

  1. juttamaue says:

    looks like these adorable opportunists had a wonderful time splashing in your ‘pool’. We’ve lost a couple of nicely packed hot lunches to these bandits. Jumped right into the vehicle, opened to picnic box and violå….we had to do without. wonderful writing and great shots, my friends xx

  2. Diane says:

    Paul perhaps you can adopt the troup that plunder my kitchen ! but i will hold onto the one eyed lady, she is gentle, very sweet and respects my position in the house, she sits on the ledge and just wait for me, she never takes anything, rather amazing when her fellow ‘opportunists’ just plunder my bread draw, fruit bowl (with artifical fruit!!! hahah!) she is patient, she seems to know that she is the only one that will be given an apple if she just sits and watches – my little monkey! we have a bond! perhaps she knows her one eye will do the trick with every household in the neighbour hood.!!!

  3. Joan Buchanan says:

    We had them in the kitchen. They had opened the jar of rusks and were all sitting in a circle eating while the two in the middle were doing what comes naturally. I was not sure whether to offer coffee or a drink while they watched the porn show x

  4. Annelie says:

    I love them at a distance and the incredible blue of the family jewels 🙂 love the fun in the their/your swimming pool.

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