The Project Gutenberg EBook of Minnie's Pet Monkey, by Madeline Leslie

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Title: Minnie's Pet Monkey

Author: Madeline Leslie

Release Date: September 14, 2008 [EBook #26618]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Julia Miller and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
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Transcriber’s Note

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of corrections is found at the end of the text.


A monkey perched above the preacher, copying his arm motions MONKEY IN CHURCH. Page 88.


A seated girl, holding a cat, surrounded by a pony, monkey, lamb, two dogs, and a parrot







Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



These Little Volumes




Minnie’s Pet Parrot.
Minnie’s Pet Cat.
Minnie’s Pet Dog.
Minnie’s Pet Horse.
Minnie’s Pet Lamb.
Minnie’s Pet Monkey.




Did you ever see a monkey? If you have not, I suppose you will like to hear a description of Jacko, Minnie’s sixth pet.

He was about eighteen inches high, with long arms, covered with short hair, which he used[10] as handily as a boy, flexible fingers, with flat nails, and a long tail, covered with hair, which seemed to answer the purpose of a third hand.

Though monkeys are usually very ugly and unpleasant, from their approaching so nearly to the human face, and still bearing so strongly the marks of the mere brute, yet Jacko was a pretty little fellow.

He had bright eyes, which[11] sparkled like diamonds from beneath his deep-set eyebrows. His teeth were of the most pearly whiteness, and he made a constant display of them, grinning and chattering continually. But I ought to tell you about his passage in uncle Frank’s ship.

On one of Captain Lee’s voyages, he touched upon the coast of Africa, where he saw the little fellow in a hen-coop, just about to be carried on board a[12] whaler. The gentleman had often thought he should like to carry his favorite niece a little pet; but as she already had a parrot, he did not know what she would wish.

But when he listened to the chattering of the monkey, and heard the sailor who owned him say what a funny little animal it was, he thought he would buy it and take it home to her.

On the voyage, Jacko met[13] with a sad accident. The hen-coop in which he was confined was too small to contain the whole of his tail, and he was obliged, when he slept, to let the end of it hang out. This was a great affliction to the poor animal, for he was very proud of his tail, which was indeed quite an addition to his good looks.

It so happened that there were two large cats on board ship; and one night, as they[14] were prowling about, they saw the tail hanging out while Jacko was sound asleep; and before he had time to move, one of them seized it and bit it off.

The monkey was very indignant, and if he could have had a fair chance at his enemies, would have soon punished them for their impudence. It was really amusing to see him afterward. He would pull his bleeding tail in through the bars of the hen-[15]coop, and give it a malicious bite, as much as to say,—

“I wish you were off. You are of no use to me now; and you look terribly short.”

When they reached New York, at the end of their voyage, Captain Lee took Jacko out of the hen-coop, and put him in a bag, which was carried into the depot while he was purchasing his ticket. The monkey, who must needs see every thing[16] that was going on, suddenly poked his head out of the bag, and gave a malicious grin at the ticket-master.

The man was much frightened, but presently recovered himself, and returned the insult by saying,—

“Sir, that’s a dog! It’s the rule that no dog can go in the cars without being paid for.”

It was all in vain that the captain tried to convince him that[17] Jacko was not a dog, but a monkey. He even took him out of the bag; but in the face of this evidence, the man would persist in saying,—

“He is a dog, and must have a ticket before he enters the cars.”

So a ticket was bought, and Jacko was allowed to proceed on his journey.

The little fellow was as pleased as the captain when he arrived[18] at the end of his journey, and took possession of his pleasant quarters in the shed adjoining Mr. Lee’s fine house. He soon grew fond of his little mistress, and played all manner of tricks, jumping up and down, swinging with his tail, which had begun to heal, and chattering with all his might in his efforts to please her.

Mr. Lee, at the suggestion of his brother, the captain, had a[19] nice house or cage made for Minnie’s new pet, into which he could be put if he became troublesome, and where he always went to sleep. The rest of the time he was allowed his liberty, as far as his chain would reach.

Jacko came from a very warm climate, and therefore often suffered from the cold in the northern latitude to which he had been brought.

Mrs. Lee could not endure to[20] see a monkey dressed like a man, as they sometimes are in shows. She said they looked disgustingly; but she consented that the little fellow should have a tight red jacket, and some drawers, to keep him comfortable. Minnie, too, begged from her some old pieces of carpeting, to make him a bed, when Jacko seemed greatly delighted. He did not now, as before, often stand in the morning shaking,[21] and blue with the cold, but laughed, and chattered, and showed his gratitude in every possible way.

Not many months after Jacko came, and when he had become well acquainted with all the family, Fidelle had a family of kittens, which she often carried in her mouth back and forth through the shed. The very sight of these little animals seemed to excite Jacko exceed[22]ingly. He would spring the entire length of his chain, trying to reach them.

One day, when the kittens had begun to run alone, and were getting to be very playful, the cook heard a great noise in the shed, and Fidelle crying with all her might. She ran to see what was the matter, and, to her surprise, found Jacko sitting up in the cage, grinning with delight, while he held one of the[23] kittens in his arms, hugging it as if it had been a baby.

Cook knew the sight would please Minnie, and she ran to call her. But the child sympathized too deeply in Fidelle’s distress to enjoy it. She tried to get the kitten away from Jacko, but he had no idea of giving it up, until at last, when Mrs. Lee, who had come to the rescue, gave him a piece of cake, of which he was very fond, he re[24]laxed his hold, and she instantly released the poor, frightened little animal.

Fidelle took warning by this occurrence, and never ventured through the shed again with her babies, though Jacko might seem to be sound asleep in his cage.

Jacko had been at Mr. Lee’s more than a year before they knew him to break his chain and run about by himself. The first visit he made was to Leo, in the[25] barn, and he liked it so well that, somehow or other, he contrived to repeat the visit quite as often as it was agreeable to the dog, who never could endure him.

After this, he became very mischievous, so that every one of the servants, though they often had a great laugh at his tricks, would have been glad to have the little fellow carried back to his home in Africa.

[26]I don’t think even Minnie loved her pet monkey as well as she did her other pets. She could not take him in her arms as she did Fidelle and Tiney, nor play with him as she did with Nannie and her lamb, and he could not carry her on his back, as Star did.

“Well,” she said, one day, after discussing the merits of her animals with her mamma, “Poll talks to me, and Jacko[27] makes me laugh; but if I should have to give up one of my pets, I had rather it would be the monkey.”



One morning, cook went to her mistress with loud complaints of Jacko’s tricks.

“What has he been doing now?” inquired the lady, with some anxiety.

“All kinds of mischief, ma’am. If I didn’t like you, and the master, and Miss Minnie so well, I wouldn’t be living in the[29] same house with a monkey, no ways.”

Here the woman, having relieved her mind, began to relate Jacko’s new offence, and soon was joining heartily in the laugh her story caused her mistress.

“Since the trickish fellow found the way to undo his chain, ma’am, he watches every thing that is done in the kitchen. Yesterday I polished the range, and the door to the oven. I[30] suppose he saw me at work, and thought it would be good fun; for when I was out of the kitchen hanging some towels to dry on the line, in he walks to the closet where I keep the blacking and brushes, and what should he do but black the table and chairs? Such a sight, ma’am, as would make your eyes cry to see. It’ll take me half the forenoon to clean them.”

“I think you will have to take[31] a little stick, Hepsy,” said Mrs. Lee, smiling, “and whip him when he does mischief.”

“Indeed, ma’am, and it’s little strength I’d have left me to do the cooking if I gave him half the whippings he deserves; besides, I’d be sure to get the cratur’s ill will; and they say that’s unlucky for any one.”

“What does she mean, mamma, by its being unlucky?” inquired Minnie, when the cook[32] had returned to her work in the kitchen.

“I can’t say, my dear. You know Hepsy has some strange ideas which she brought with her from Ireland. It may be she has heard of the superstitious reverence some nations have for the monkey.”

“O, mamma, will you please tell me about it?”

“I have read that in many parts of India, monkeys are[33] made objects of worship; and splendid temples are dedicated to their honor.

“At one time, when the Portuguese plundered the Island of Ceylon, they found, in one of the temples dedicated to these animals, a small golden casket containing the tooth of a monkey. This was held in such estimation by the natives, that they offered nearly a million of dollars to redeem it. But the viceroy,[34] thinking it would be a salutary punishment to them, ordered it to be burned.

“Some years after, a Portuguese, having obtained a similar tooth, pretended that he had recovered the old one, which so rejoiced the priests that they purchased it from him for more than fifty thousand dollars.”

Minnie laughed. “I should suppose,” she said, “that if cook thinks so much of monkeys, she[35] would be pleased to live with them. Do you know any more about monkeys, mamma?”

“I confess, my dear, that monkeys have never been among my favorites. There are a great many kinds, but all are mischievous, troublesome, and thievish. The dispositions of some of them are extremely bad, while others are so mild and tractable as to be readily tamed and taught a great variety of[36] tricks. They live together in large groups, leaping with surprising agility from tree to tree. Travellers say it is very amusing to listen to the chattering of these animals, which they compare to the shouting of a grand cavalcade, all speaking together, and yet seeming perfectly to understand one another.

“In the countries of the Eastern Peninsula, where they abound, the matrons are often[37] observed, in the cool of the evening, sitting in a circle round their little ones, which amuse themselves with their various gambols. The merriment of the young, as they jump over each other’s heads, and wrestle in sport, is most ludicrously contrasted with the gravity of their seniors, who are secretly delighted with the fun, but far too dignified to let it appear.

“But when any foolish little[38] one behaves ill, the mamma will be seen to jump into the throng, seize the juvenile by the tail, take it over her knee, and give it a good whipping.”

“O, how very funny, mamma! I wonder whether Jacko was treated so. Will you please tell me more? I do like to hear about monkeys.”

“If you will bring me that book from the library next the one about cats, perhaps I can[39] find some anecdotes to read to you.”

The little girl clapped her hands with delight, and running gayly to the next room, soon returned with the book, when her mother read as follows:—

“A family in England had a pet monkey. On one occasion, the footman retired to his room to shave himself, without noticing that the animal had followed him. The little fellow[40] watched him closely during the process, and noticed where the man put his razor and brush.

“No sooner had the footman left the room, than the monkey slyly took the razor, and, mounting on a chair opposite the small mirror, began to scrape away at his throat, as he had seen the man do; but alas! not understanding the nature of the instrument he was using, the poor creature cut so deep a gash, that[41] he bled profusely. He was found in the situation described, with the razor still in his fingers, but unfortunately was too far gone to be recovered, and soon died, leaving a caution to his fellows against playing with edged tools.”

“I hope Jacko will never see any body shave,” said Minnie, in a faltering voice.

“Here is a funny story, my dear, about a monkey in the[42] West Indies. The little fellow was kept tied to a stake in the open air, and was frequently deprived of his food by the Johnny Crows. He tried to drive them off, but without success, and at last made the following plan for punishing the thieves.

“Perceiving a flock of these birds coming toward him one day just after his food had been brought, he lay down near his stake, and pretended to be dead.[43] For some time, he lay perfectly motionless, when the birds, really deceived, approached by degrees, and got near enough to steal his food, which he allowed them to do. This game he repeated several times, till they became so bold as to come within reach of his claws, when he suddenly sprang up and caught his victim in his firm grasp. Death was not his plan of punishment. He wished to make a man of him,[44] according to the ancient definition, ‘a biped without feathers,’ and therefore, plucking the crow neatly, he let him go to show himself to his companions. This proved so effectual a punishment, that he was afterwards left to eat his food in peace.”

“I don’t see,” said Minnie, thoughtfully, “how a monkey could ever think of such a way.”

“It certainly does show a great deal of sagacity,” re[45]sponded the lady, “and a great deal of cunning in carrying out his plan.”

“I hope there are ever so many anecdotes, mamma.”

Mrs. Lee turned over the leaves. “Yes, my dear,” she said, cheerfully, “there are quite a number; some of them seem to be very amusing, but I have only time to read you one more to-day.”

“Dr. Guthrie gives an amus[46]ing account of a monkey named Jack.

“Seeing his master and friends drinking whiskey with great apparent relish, he took the opportunity, when he thought he was unseen, to empty their half-filled glasses; and while they were roaring with laughter, he began to hop, skip, and jump. Poor Jack was drunk.

“The next day, his master wanted to repeat the experi[47]ment, but found Jack had not recovered from the effects of his dissipation. He commanded him to come to the table; but the poor fellow put his hand to his head, and not all their endeavors could induce him to taste another drop all his life.

“Jack became a thorough teetotaller.”



Minnie had a cousin Frank, the son of Mr. Harry Lee. He was three years older than Minnie, and was full of life and frolic.

At one time he came to visit Minnie; and fine fun indeed they had with the pets, the monkey being his especial favorite.

[49]Every day some new experiment was to be tried with Jacko, who, as Frank declared, could be taught any thing that they wished. One time, he took the little fellow by the chain for a walk, Minnie gayly running by his side, and wondering what her cousin was going to do.

On their way to the barn, they met Leo, who at once began to bark furiously.

“That will never do, my brave[50] fellow,” exclaimed the boy; “for we want you to turn horse, and take Jacko to ride.”

“O, Frank! Leo will kill him. Don’t do that!” urged Minnie, almost crying.

“But I mean to make them good friends,” responded the lad. “Here, you take hold of the chain, and I will coax the dog to be quiet while I put Jacko on his back.”

This was not so easy as he[51] had supposed; for no amount of coaxing or flattery would induce Leo to be impressed into this service. He hated the monkey, and was greatly disgusted at his appearance as he hopped, first on Frank’s shoulder, and then to the ground, his head sticking out of his little red jacket, and his face wearing a malicious grin.

Finding they could not succeed in this, they went into the stable[52] to visit Star, when, with a quick motion, Jacko twitched the chain from Minnie’s hand, and running up the rack above the manger, began to laugh and chatter in great glee.

His tail, which had now fully healed, was of great use to him on this occasion, when, to Minnie’s great surprise, he clung with it to the bar of the rack, and began to swing himself about.

A girl chasing a monkey running along the top of a garden wall JACKO RUNNING AWAY. Page 52.

[53]“I heard of a monkey once,” exclaimed Frank, laughing merrily, “who made great use of his tail. If a nut or apple were thrown to him which fell beyond his reach, he would run to the full length of his chain, turn his back, then stretch out his tail, and draw toward him the coveted delicacy.”

“Let’s see whether Jacko would do so,” shouted Minnie, greatly excited with the project.

[54]“When we can catch him. But see how funny he looks. There he goes up the hay mow, the chain dangling after him.”

“If we don’t try to catch him, he’ll come quicker,” said Minnie, gravely.

“I know another story about a monkey—a real funny one,” added the boy. “I don’t know what his name was; but he used to sleep in the barn with the cattle and horses. I suppose[55] monkeys are always cold here; at any rate, this one was; and when he saw the hostler give the horse a nice feed of hay, he said to himself, ‘What a comfortable bed that would make for me!’

“When the man went away, he jumped into the hay and hid, and every time the horse came near enough to eat, he sprang forward and bit her ears with his sharp teeth.

[56]“Of course, as the poor horse couldn’t get her food, she grew very thin, and at last was so frightened that the hostler could scarcely get her into the stall. Several times he had to whip her before she would enter it, and then she stood as far back as possible, trembling like a leaf.

“It was a long time before they found out what the matter was; and then the monkey had to take a whipping, I guess.”

[57]“If his mother had been there, she would have whipped him,” said Minnie, laughing.

“What do you mean?”

The little girl then repeated what her mother had told her of the discipline among monkeys, at which he was greatly amused.

All this time, they were standing at the bottom of the hay mow, and supposed that Jacko was safe at the top; but the[58] little fellow was more cunning than they thought. He found the window open near the roof, where hay was sometimes pitched in, and ran down into the yard as quick as lightning.

The first they knew of it was when John called out from the barnyard, “Jacko, Jacko! Soh, Jacko! Be quiet, sir!”

It was a wearisome chase they had for the next hour, and at the end they could not catch the[59] runaway; but at last, when they sat down calmly in the house, he stole back to his cage, and lay there quiet as a lamb.

Minnie’s face was flushed with her unusual exercise, but in a few minutes she grew very pale, until her mother became alarmed. After a few drops of lavender, however, she said she felt better, and that if Frank would tell her a story she should be quite well.

“That I will,” exclaimed the[60] boy, eagerly. “I know a real funny one; you like funny stories—don’t you?”

“Yes, when they’re true,” answered Minnie.

“Well, this is really true. A man was hunting, and he happened to kill a monkey that had a little baby on her back. The little one clung so close to her dead mother, that they could scarcely get it away. When they reached the gentlema[61]n’s house, the poor creature began to cry at finding itself alone. All at once it ran across the room to a block, where a wig belonging to the hunter’s father was placed, and thinking that was its mother, was so comforted that it lay down and went to sleep.

“They fed it with goat’s milk, and it grew quite contented, for three weeks clinging to the wig with great affection.

[62]“The gentleman had a large and valuable collection of insects, which were dried upon pins, and placed in a room appropriated to such purposes.

“One day, when the monkey had become so familiar as to be a favorite with all in the family, he found his way to this apartment, and made a hearty breakfast on the insects.

“The owner, entering when the meal was almost concluded,[63] was greatly enraged, and was about to chastise the animal, who had so quickly destroyed the work of years, when he saw that the act had brought its own punishment. In eating the insects, the animal had swallowed the pins, which very soon caused him such agony that he died.”

“I don’t call the last part funny at all,” said Minnie, gravely.

“But wasn’t it queer for it[64] to think the wig was its mother?” asked the boy, with a merry laugh. “I don’t think it could have had much sense to do that.”

“But it was only a baby monkey then, Harry.”

“How did it happen,” inquired Mrs. Lee, “that Jacko got away from you?”

“He watched his chance, aunty, and twitched the chain away from Minnie. Now he’s done it once, he’ll try the game[65] again, I suppose, he is so fond of playing us tricks.”

And true enough, the very next morning the lady was surprised at a visit from the monkey in her chamber, where he made himself very much at home, pulling open drawers, and turning over the contents, in the hope of finding some confectionery, of which he was extremely fond.

“Really,” she exclaimed to[66] her husband, “if Jacko goes on so, I shall be of cook’s mind, and not wish to live in the house with him.”



One day, Jacko observed nurse washing out some fine clothes for her mistress, and seemed greatly interested in the suds which she made in the progress of her work.

Watching his chance, he went to Mrs. Lee’s room while the family were at breakfast one morning, and finding some nice[68] toilet soap on the marble washstand, began to rub it on some fine lace lying on the bureau. After a little exertion, he was delighted to find that he had a bowl full of nice, perfumed suds, and was chattering to himself in great glee, when Ann came in and spoiled his sport.

“You good for nothing, mischievous creature,” she cried out, in sudden wrath, “I’ll cure you of prowling about the house in[69] this style.” Giving him a cuff across his head with a shoe, “Go back to your cage, where you belong.”

“Jacko is really getting to be very troublesome,” remarked the lady to her husband. “I can’t tell how much longer my patience with him will last.”

“Would Minnie mourn very much if she were to lose him?” asked Mr. Lee.

“I suppose she would for a[70] time; but then she has so many pets to take up her attention.”

Just then the child ran in, her eyes filled with tears, exclaiming,—

“Father, does Jacko know any better? Is he to blame for trying to wash?”

Mr. Lee laughed.

“Because,” she went on, “I found him crouched down in his cage, looking very sorry; and nurse says he ought to be[71] ashamed of himself, cutting up such ridiculous capers.”

“I dare say he feels rather guilty,” remarked Mr. Lee. “He must be taught better, or your mother will be tired of him.”

When her father had gone to the city, Minnie looked so grave that her mother, to comfort her, took the book and read her some stories. A few of them I will repeat to you.

“A lady was returning from[72] India, in a ship on board of which there was a monkey. She was a very mild, gentle creature, and readily learned any thing that was taught her. When she went to lie down at night, she made up her bed in imitation of her mistress, then got in and wrapped herself up neatly with the quilt. Sometimes she would wrap her head with a handkerchief.

“When she did wrong, she[73] would kneel and clasp her hands, seeming earnestly to ask to be forgiven.”

“That’s a good story, mamma.”

“Yes, dear; and here is another.”

“A gentleman boarding with his wife at a hotel in Paris had a pet monkey, who was very polite. One day his master met him going down stairs; and when the gentleman said ‘good morning,’ the animal took off[74] his cap and made a very polite bow.

“‘Are you going away?’ asked the owner. ‘Where is your passport?’ Upon this the monkey held out a square piece of paper.

“‘See!’ said the gentleman; ‘your mistress’ gown is dusty.’

“Jack instantly took a small brush from his master’s pocket, raised the hem of the lady’s dress, cleaned it, and then did[75] the same to his master’s shoes, which were also dusty.

“When they gave him any thing to eat, he did not cram his pouches with it, but delicately and tidily devoured it; and when, as frequently occurred, strangers gave him money, he always put it in his master’s hands.”

“Do you think, mamma, I could teach Jacko to do so?” inquired Minnie, eagerly.

[76]“I can’t say, my dear; and indeed I think it would be hardly worth the pains to spend a great deal of time in teaching him. He seems to learn quite fast enough by himself. Indeed, he is so full of tricks, and so troublesome to cook in hiding her kitchen utensils, I am afraid we shall have to put him in close confinement.”

“I had rather uncle Frank would carry him back to Africa,[77]” sighed the child. “He would be so unhappy.”

“Well, dear, I wouldn’t grieve about it now. We must manage somehow till uncle Frank comes, and then perhaps he can tell us what to do. Now I’ll read you another story.”

“A monkey living with a gentleman in the country became so troublesome that the servants were constantly complaining.”

“That seems similar to our[78] case,” said the lady, smiling, as she interrupted the reading.

“One day, having his offers of assistance rudely repulsed, he went into the next house by a window in the second story, which was unfortunately open. Here he pulled out a small drawer, where the lady kept ribbons, laces, and handkerchiefs, and putting them in a foot-tub, rubbed away vigorously for an hour, with all the soap and water[79] there were to be found in the room.

“When the lady returned to the chamber, he was busily engaged in spreading the torn and disfigured remnants to dry.

“He knew well enough he was doing wrong; for, without her speaking to him, he made off quickly and ran home, where he hid himself in the case of the large kitchen clock.

“The servants at once knew[80] he had been in mischief, as this was his place of refuge when he was in disgrace.

“One day he watched the cook while she was preparing some partridges for dinner, and concluded that all birds ought to be so treated. He soon managed to get into the yard, where his mistress kept a few pet bantam fowls, and, after eating their eggs, he secured one of the hens, and began plucking it.[81] The noise of the poor bird called some of the servants to the rescue, when they found the half-plucked creature in such a pitiable condition that they killed it at once. After this, Mr. Monkey was chained up, and soon died.”

Minnie looked very grave after hearing this story, and presently said, “I wonder how old that monkey was.”

“The book does not mention his age, my dear. Why?”

[82]“I was thinking that perhaps, as Jacko grows older, he may learn better; and then I said to myself, ‘That one must have been young.’”

“If a monkey is really inclined to be vicious, he is almost unbearable,” remarked the lady. “His company does not begin to compensate for the trouble he makes. Sometimes he is only cunning, but otherwise mild and tractable.”

[83]“And which, mamma, do you think Jacko is?”

“I have always thought, until lately, that he was one of the better kind; but I have now a good many doubts whether you enjoy her funny tricks enough to compensate cook for all the mischief she does. If I knew any one who wanted a pet monkey, and would treat him kindly, I should be glad to have him go. I should hate to have him killed.”

[84]“Killed!” screamed Minnie, with a look of horror; “O, mamma, I wouldn’t have one of my pets killed for any thing.”

Mrs. Lee thought that would probably be at some time Nannie’s fate, but she wisely said nothing.

“Please read more, mamma. I don’t want to think about such awful things.”

The lady cast her eyes over the page, and laughed heartily.[85] Presently she said, “Here is a very curious anecdote, which I will read you; but first I must explain to you what a sounding-board is.

“In old fashioned churches, there used to hang, directly over the pulpit, a large, round board, like the top of a table, which, it was thought, assisted the minister’s voice to be heard by all the congregation. I can remember, when I was a child,[86] going to visit my grandmother, and accompanying her to church, where there was a sounding-board. I worried, through the whole service, for fear it would fall on the minister’s head and kill him. But I will read.”

“There was once an eminent clergyman by the name of Casaubon, who kept in his family a tame monkey, of which he was very fond. This animal, which was allowed its liberty, liked to[87] follow the minister, when he went out, but on the Sabbath was usually shut up till his owner was out of sight, on his way to church.

“But one Sabbath morning, when the clergyman, taking his sermon under his arm, went out, the monkey followed him unobserved, and watching the opportunity while his master was speaking to a gentleman on the steps, ran up at the back of the[88] pulpit, and jumped upon the sounding-board.

“Here he gravely seated himself, looking round in a knowing manner on the congregation, who were greatly amused at so strange a spectacle.

“The services proceeded as usual, while the monkey, who evidently much enjoyed the sight of so many people, occasionally peeped over the sounding-board, to observe the move[89]ments of his master, who was unconscious of his presence.

“When the sermon commenced, many little forms were convulsed with laughter, which conduct so shocked the good pastor, that he thought it his duty to administer a reproof, which he did with considerable action of his hands and arms.

“The monkey, who had now become familiar with the scene, imitated every motion, until at[90] last a scarcely suppressed smile appeared upon the countenance of most of the audience. This occurred, too, in one of the most solemn passages in the discourse; and so horrible did the levity appear to the good minister, that he launched forth into violent rebuke, every word being enforced by great energy of action.

“All this time, the little fellow overhead mimicked every movement with ardor and exactness.

[91]“The audience, witnessing this apparent competition between the good man and his monkey, could no longer retain the least appearance of composure, and burst into roars of laughter, in the midst of which one of the congregation kindly relieved the horror of the pastor at the irreverence and impiety of his flock, by pointing out the cause of the merriment.

“Casting his eyes upward, the[92] minister could just discern the animal standing on the end of the sounding-board, and gesturing with all his might, when he found it difficult to control himself, though highly exasperated at the occurrence. He gave directions to have the monkey removed, and sat down to compose himself, and allow his congregation to recover their equanimity while the order was being obeyed.”



In his frequent visits to the stable, Jacko amused himself by catching mice that crept out to pick up the corn.

The servants, having noticed his skill, thought they would turn it to good account, and having been troubled with mice in the pantry, determined to take advantage of the absence[94] of Mrs. Lee on a journey, and shut the monkey up in it. So, one evening, they took him out of his comfortable bed, and chained him up in the larder, having removed every thing except some jam pots, which they thought out of his reach, and well secured with bladder stretched over the top.

Poor Jacko was evidently much astonished, and quite indignant, at this treatment, but[95] presently consoled himself by jumping into a soup tureen, where he fell sound asleep, while the mice scampered all over the place.

As soon as it was dawn, the mice retired to their holes. Jacko awoke shivering with cold, stretched himself, and then, pushing the soup tureen from the shelf, broke it to pieces. After this achievement, he began to look about for something to[96] eat, when he spied the jam pots on the upper shelf.

“There is something good,” he thought, smelling them. “I’ll see.”

His sharp teeth soon worked an entrance, when the treasured jams, plums, raspberry, strawberry, candied apricots, the pride and care of the cook, disappeared in an unaccountably short time.

At last, his appetite for sweets[97] was satisfied, and coiling his tail in a corner, he lay quietly awaiting the servant’s coming to take him out.

Presently he heard the door cautiously open, when the chamber girl gave a scream of horror as she saw the elegant China dish broken into a thousand bits, and lying scattered on the floor.

She ran in haste to summon Hepsy and the nurse, her heart misgiving her that this was not[98] the end of the calamity. They easily removed Jacko, who began already to experience the sad effects of overloading his stomach, and then found, with alarm and grief, the damage he had done.

For several days the monkey did not recover from the effects of his excess. He was never shut up again in the pantry.

When Mrs. Lee returned she blamed the servants for trying[99] such an experiment in her absence. Jacko was now well, and ready for some new mischief; and Minnie, who heard a ludicrous account of the story, laughed till she cried.

She repeated it, in great glee, to her father, who looked very grave as he said, “We think a sea voyage would do the troublesome fellow good; but you shall have a Canary or a pair of Java sparrows instead.”

[100]“Don’t you know any stories of good monkeys, father?”

“I don’t recollect any at this moment, my dear; but I will see whether I can find any for you.”

He opened the book, and then asked,—

“Did you know, Minnie, that almost all monkeys have bags or pouches in their cheeks, the skin of which is loose, and when empty makes the animal look wrinkled?”

[101]“No, sir; I never heard about it.”

“Yes, that is the case. He puts his food in them, and keeps it there till he wishes to devour it.

“There are some kinds, too, that have what is called prehensile tails; that is, tails by which they can hang themselves to the limb of a tree, and which they use with nearly as much ease as they can their hands. The facil[102]ity which this affords them for moving about quickly among the branches of trees is astonishing. The firmness of the grasp which it makes is very surprising; for if it winds a single coil around a branch, it is quite sufficient, not only to support its weight, but to enable it to swing in such a manner as to gain a fresh hold with its feet.”

“I’m sure, father,” eagerly cried Minnie, “that Jacko has a[103] prehensile tail, for I have often seen him swing from the ladder which goes up the hay mow.”

“I dare say, child. He seems to be up to every thing. But here is an account of an Indian monkey, of a light grayish yellow color, with black hands and feet. The face is black, with a violet tinge. This is called Hoonuman, and is much venerated by the Hindoos. They believe it to be one of the animals into[104] which the souls of their friends pass at death. If one of these monkeys is killed, the murderer is instantly put to death; and, thus protected, they become a great nuisance, and destroy great quantities of fruit. But in South America, monkeys are killed by the natives as game, for the sake of the flesh. Absolute necessity alone would compel us to eat them. A great naturalist named Humboldt tells us that their[105] manner of cooking them is especially disgusting. They are raised a foot from the ground, and bent into a sitting position, in which they greatly resemble a child, and are roasted in that manner. A hand and arm of a monkey, roasted in this way, are exhibited in a museum in Paris.”

“Monkeys have a curious way of introducing their tails into the fissures or hollows of trees, for the purpose of hooking out[106] eggs and other substances. On approaching a spot where there is a supply of food, they do not alight at once, but take a survey of the neighborhood, a general cry being kept up by the party.”



One afternoon, Minnie ran out of breath to the parlor. “Mamma,” she exclaimed, “cook says monkeys are real cruel in their families. Is it true?”

The lady smiled. “I suppose, my dear,” she responded, “that there is a difference of disposition among them. I have heard that they are very fond[108] of their young, and that, when threatened with danger, they mount them on their back, or clasp them to their breast with great affection.

“But I saw lately an anecdote of the cruelty of a monkey to his wife, and if I can find the book, I will read it to you.”

“There is an animal called the fair monkey, which, though the most beautiful of its tribe, is gloomy and cruel. One of these,[109] which, from its extreme beauty and apparent gentleness, was allowed to ramble at liberty over a ship, soon became a great favorite with the crew, and in order to make him perfectly happy, as they imagined, they procured him a wife.

“For some weeks, he was a devoted husband, and showed her every attention and respect. He then grew cool, and began to use her with much cruelty. His[110] treatment made her wretched and dull.

“One day, the crew noticed that he treated her with more kindness than usual, but did not suspect the wicked scheme he had in mind. At last, after winning her favor anew, he persuaded her to go aloft with him, and drew her attention to an object in the distance, when he suddenly gave her a push, which threw her into the sea.

[111]“This cruel act seemed to afford him much gratification, for he descended in high spirits.”

“I should think they would have punished him,” said Minnie, with great indignation.

“Perhaps they did, love. At any rate, it proves that beauty is by no means always to be depended upon.”

Mrs. Lee then took her sewing, but Minnie plead so earnestly for one more story, a[112] good long one, that her mother, who loved to gratify her, complied, and read the account which I shall give you in closing this chapter on Minnie’s pet monkey.

“A gentleman, returning from India, brought a monkey, which he presented to his wife. She called it Sprite, and soon became very fond of it.

“Sprite was very fond of beetles, and also of spiders, and his[113] mistress used sometimes to hold his chain, lengthened by a string, and make him run up the curtains, and clear out the cobwebs for the housekeeper.

“On one occasion, he watched his opportunity, and snatching the chain, ran off, and was soon seated on the top of a cottage, grinning and chattering to the assembled crowd of schoolboys, as much as to say, ‘Catch me if you can.’ He got the whole[114] town in an uproar, but finally leaped over every thing, dragging his chain after him, and nestled himself in his own bed, where he lay with his eyes closed, his mouth open, his sides ready to burst with his running.

“Another time, the little fellow got loose, but remembering his former experience, only stole into the shed, where he tried his hand at cleaning knives. He did not succeed very well in this,[115] however, for the handle was the part he attempted to polish, and, cutting his fingers, he relinquished the sport.

“Resolved not to be defeated, he next set to work to clean the shoes and boots, a row of which were awaiting the boy. But Sprite, not remembering all the steps of the performance, first covered the entire shoe, sole and all, with the blacking, and then emptied the rest of the Day & Mar[116]tin into it, nearly filling it with the precious fluid. His coat was a nice mess for some days after.

“One morning, when the servants returned to the kitchen, they found Sprite had taken all the kitchen candlesticks out of the cupboard, and arranged them on the fender, as he had once seen done. As soon as he heard the servants returning, he ran to his basket, and tried to look as though nothing had happened.

[117]“Sprite was exceedingly fond of a bath. Occasionally a bowl of water was given him, when he would cunningly try the temperature by putting in his finger, after which he gradually stepped in, first one foot, then the other, till he was comfortably seated. Then he took the soap and rubbed himself all over. Having made a dreadful splashing all around, he jumped out and ran to the fire, shivering. If any[118] body laughed at him during this performance, he made threatening gestures, chattering with all his might to show his displeasure, and sometimes he splashed water all over them.

“Poor Sprite one day nearly committed suicide. As he was brought from a very warm climate, he often suffered exceedingly, in winter, from the cold.

“The cooking was done by a large fire on the open hearth,[119] and as his basket, where he slept, was in one corner of the kitchen, before morning he frequently awoke shivering and blue. The cook was in the habit of making the fire, and then returning to her room to finish her toilet.

“One morning, having lighted the pile of kindlings as usual, she hung on the tea-kettle and went out, shutting the door carefully behind her.

[120]“Sprite thought this a fine opportunity to warm himself. He jumped from his basket, ran to the hearth, and took the lid of the kettle off. Cautiously touching the water with the tip of his finger, he found it just the right heat for a bath, and sprang in, sitting down, leaving only his head above the water.

“This he found exceedingly comfortable for a time; but soon the water began to grow hot.[121] He rose, but the air outside was so cold, he quickly sat down again. He did this several times, and would, no doubt, have been boiled to death, and become a martyr to his own want of pluck and firmness in action, had it not been for the timely return of the cook, who, seeing him sitting there almost lifeless, seized him by the head and pulled him out.

“He was rolled in blankets,[122] and laid in his basket, where he soon recovered, and, it is to be hoped, learned a lesson from this hot experience, not to take a bath when the water is on the fire.”



When Minnie was nine years of age, she accompanied her parents to a menagerie, and there, among other animals, she saw a baboon. She was greatly excited by his curious, uncouth manœuvres, asking twenty questions about him, without giving her father time to answer. On their way home, she inquired,[124]

“Are baboons one kind of monkeys, father?”

“Yes, my daughter; and a more disagreeable, disgusting animal I cannot conceive of.”

“I hope you are not wishing for a baboon to add to your pets,” added her mother, laughing.

“I don’t believe Jacko would get along with that great fellow at all,” answered the child. “But, father, will you please tell[125] me something more about the curious animals?”

The conversation was here interrupted by seeing that a carriage had stopped just in front of their own, and that quite a crowd had gathered about some person who seemed to be hurt.

Minnie’s sympathies were alive in an instant. She begged her father to get out, as possibly he might be of some use.

[126]The driver stopped of his own accord, and inquired what had happened, and then they saw that it was a spaniel that was hurt. He had been in the road, and not getting out of the way quick enough, the wheel had gone over his body.

The young lady who was in the buggy was greatly distressed, from which Minnie argued that she was kind to animals, and that they should like her.

[127]The owner of the dog held the poor creature in her arms, though it seemed to be in convulsions, and wept bitterly as she found it must die.

Mr. Lee, to please his little daughter, waited a few minutes; but he found her getting so much excited over the suffering animal, he gave John orders to proceed.

During the rest of the drive, she could talk of nothing else,[128] wondering whether the spaniel was alive now, or whether the young man in the buggy paid for hurting it.

The next day, however, having made up her mind that the poor creature must be dead, and his sufferings ended, and having given Tiney many admonitions to keep out of the road when carriages were passing, her thoughts turned once more to the baboon.

[129]Mr. Lee found in his library a book which gave a short account of the animal, which he read to her.

“The baboon is of the monkey tribe, notwithstanding its long, dog-like head, flat, compressed cheeks, and strong and projecting teeth. The form and position of the eyes, combined with the similarity of the arms and hands, give to these creatures a resemblance to human[130]ity as striking as it is disgusting.”

“Then follows an account,” the gentleman went on, “of the peculiarities of different kinds of baboons, which you would not understand.”

“But can’t you tell me something about them yourself, father?”

“I know very little about the creatures, my dear; but I have read that they are exceedingly[131] strong, and of a fiery, vicious temper.

“They can never be wholly tamed, and it is only while restraint of the severest kind is used, that they can be governed at all. If left to their own will, their savage nature resumes its sway, and their actions are cruel, destructive, and disgusting.”

“I saw the man at the menagerie giving them apples,” said Minnie; “but he did not give[132] them any meat all the time I was there.”

“No; they subsist exclusively on fruits, seeds, and other vegetable matter. In the countries where they live, especially near the Cape of Good Hope, the inhabitants chase them with dogs and guns in order to destroy them, on account of the ravages they commit in the fields and gardens. It is said that they make a very obstinate resistance[133] to the dogs, and often have fierce battles with them; but they greatly fear the gun.

“As the baboon grows older, instead of becoming better, his rage increases, so that the slightest cause will provoke him to terrible fury.”

“Is that all you know about them?”

“Why, Minnie, in order to satisfy you, any one must become a walking encyclopædia.[134] What other question have you to ask?”

“Why, they must have something to eat, and how are they to get it unless they go into gardens?”

Mr. Lee laughed aloud. “I rather think I should soon convince them they were not to enter my garden,” he said, emphatically. “But seriously, they descend in vast numbers upon the orchards of fruit, destroying,[135] in a few hours, the work of months, or even of years. In these excursions, they move on a concerted plan, placing sentinels on commanding spots, to give notice of the approach of an enemy. As soon as he perceives danger, the sentinel gives a loud yell, and then the whole troop rush away with the greatest speed, cramming the fruit which they have gathered into their cheek pouches.”

[136]Minnie looked so much disappointed when he ceased speaking, that her mother said, “I read somewhere an account of a baboon that was named Kees, who was the best of his kind that I ever heard of.”

“Yes, that was quite an interesting story, if you can call it to mind,” said the gentleman, rising.

“It was in a book of travels in Africa,” the lady went on. “The traveller, whose name was[137] Le Vaillant, took Kees through all his journey, and the creature really made himself very useful. As a sentinel, he was better than any of the dogs. Indeed, so quick was his sense of danger, that he often gave notice of the approach of beasts of prey, when every thing was apparently secure.

“There was another way in which Kees made himself useful. Whenever they came across any[138] fruits or roots with which the Hottentots were unacquainted, they waited to see whether Kees would taste them. If he threw them down, the traveller concluded they were poisonous or disagreeable, and left them untasted.

“Le Vaillant used to hunt, and frequently took Kees with him on these excursions. The poor fellow understood the preparations making for the sport,[139] and when his master signified his consent that he should go, he showed his joy in the most lively manner. On the way, he would dance about, and then run up into the trees to search for gum, of which he was very fond.

“I recall one amusing trick of Kees,” said the lady, laughing, “which pleased me much when I read it. He sometimes found honey in the hollows of trees, and also a kind of root of[140] which he was very fond, both of which his master insisted on sharing with him. On such occasions, he would run away with his treasure, or hide it in his pouches, or eat it as fast as possible, before Le Vaillant could have time to reach him.

“These roots were very difficult to pull from the ground. Kees’ manner of doing it was this. He would seize the top of the root with his strong teeth,[141] and then, planting himself firmly against the sod, drew himself gradually back, which forced it from the earth. If it proved stubborn, while he still held it in his teeth he threw himself heels over head, which gave such a concussion to the root that it never failed to come out.

“Another habit that Kees had was very curious. He sometimes grew tired with the long marches, and then he would[142] jump on the back of one of the dogs, and oblige it to carry him whole hours. At last the dogs grew weary of this, and one of them determined not to be pressed into service. He now adopted an ingenious artifice. As soon as Kees leaped on his back, he stood still, and let the train pass without moving from the spot. Kees sat quiet, determined that the dog should carry him, until the party were almost[143] out of sight, and then they both ran in great haste to overtake their master.

“Kees established a kind of authority over the dogs. They were accustomed to his voice, and in general obeyed without hesitation the slightest motions by which he communicated his orders, taking their places about the tent or carriage, as he directed them. If any of them came too near him when he was[144] eating, he gave them a box on the ear, and thus compelled them to retire to a respectful distance.”

“Why, mother, I think Kees was a very good animal, indeed,” said Minnie, with considerable warmth.

“I have told you the best traits of his character,” she answered, smiling. “He was, greatly to his master’s sorrow, an incurable thief. He could[145] not be left alone for a moment with any kind of food. He understood perfectly how to loose the strings of a basket, or to take the cork from a bottle. He was very fond of milk, and would drink it whenever he had a chance. He was whipped repeatedly for these misdemeanors, but the punishment did him no good.

“Le Vaillant was accustomed to have eggs for his breakfast;[146] but his servants complained one morning there were none to be had. Whenever any thing was amiss, the fault was always laid to Kees, who, indeed, generally deserved it. The gentleman determined to watch him.

“The next morning, hearing the cackling of a hen, he started for the place; but found Kees had been before him, and nothing remained but the broken shell. Having caught him in his[147] pilfering, his master gave him a severe beating; but he was soon at his old habit again, and the gentleman was obliged to train one of his dogs to run for the egg as soon as it was laid, before he could enjoy his favorite repast.

“One day, Le Vaillant was eating his dinner, when he heard the voice of a bird, with which he was not acquainted. Leaving the beans he had carefully prepared for himself on his plate,[148] he seized his gun, and ran out of the tent. In a short time he returned, with the bird in his hand, but found not a bean left, and Kees missing.

“When he had been stealing, the baboon often staid out of sight for some hours; but, this time, he hid himself for several days. They searched every where for him, but in vain, till his master feared he had really deserted them. On the third[149] day, one of the men, who had gone to a distance for water, saw him hiding in a tree. Le Vaillant went out and spoke to him, but he knew he had deserved punishment, and he would not come down; so that, at last, his master had to go up the tree and take him.”

“And was he whipped, mother?”

“No; he was forgiven that time, as he seemed so penitent.[150] There is only one thing more I can remember about him. An officer who was visiting Le Vaillant, wishing to try the affection of the baboon for his master, pretended to strike him. Kees flew into a violent rage, and from that time could never endure the sight of the officer. If he only saw him at a distance, he ground his teeth, and used every endeavor to fly at him; and had he not been chained,[151] he would speedily have revenged the insult.”

“Nature is man’s best teacher. She unfolds
Her treasures to his search, unseals his eye,
Illumes his mind, and purifies his heart,—
An influence breathes from all the sights and sounds
Of her existence; she is wisdom’s self.”

“There’s not a plant that springeth
But bears some good to earth;
There’s not a life but bringeth
Its store of harmless mirth;
[152]The dusty wayside clover
Has honey in her cells,—
The wild bee, humming over,
Her tale of pleasure tells.
The osiers, o’er the fountain,
Keep cool the water’s breast,
And on the roughest mountain
The softest moss is pressed.
Thus holy Nature teaches
The worth of blessings small;
That Love pervades, and reaches,
And forms the bliss of all.”











Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.






Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.






Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.






Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.






Successors to Phillips, Sampson & Co.

Transcriber’s Note

The following typographical errors were corrected.

Page Error Correction
73 “good morning,” ‘good morning,’
112 pet monkey.” pet monkey.

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