is my story. My name is Maurice Monkee. I am an
immigrant from India. I am a macacque. I grew up in the Masai
Mara. I am going to try and tell you about my wonderful friends,
including the lion of president, Ralph Lyon and his first lioness,
Mildred. This will be my story and theirs...
I am gay. We will get
this out of the way now. I have never suffered
at all from this fact of my life. There was a time when my mother, Sophie
Leila Monkee, gave me a bit of grief on the subject. She still alludes to
it in a snotty fashion from time to time but then my mother is a difficult
female the best of days. I was born in the Masai Mara in
Kenya. I never really knew my father, except for a brief visit
in my adulthood. We are macaques from India. Mother, in an
ever constant frenzy of Francophilia, insists we are from somewhere in
France. The fact is, we are from India and no amount of machinations can
remove that immutable fact. At least Mother has the pleasure to know that
we are old world monkeys, as opposed to new world monkeys. This is
something that unless you were a monkey, you wouldn't give a rip about. It
is a bit of snobbery among we apes. Something akin to Arabs distinguishing
between Gulf and other varieties of their kith and kin.
lad, I grew up very near a baboon troop. I am sure Mother chose this spot
for its protective resources, baboons being aggressive animals. My sister,
Margaux and I were born in the Mara. I have other siblings that apparently
stayed in India. This is all a very long path to get to the heart of the
matter. Bertram Baboon was my first lover. When we came into
adulthood, Bertram and I moved in together. It was the beginning of what
was going to, in time, become a very complicated society of animals in Kenya and
most particularly, the Mara. But I am digressing as is my
habit. Bertram and I decided on a catering business as our career goals. We set this up with a bit of
tree to tree advertising. We got an order from the great matriarch
elephant, Charlotte Elephanti, to cater a party at her large barn. There
we met the big cats who were to be the beginning of our successes. I will
profile each of these in time.
Bertram decided that
he wanted to work in film. He became a successful, award winning producer and
director of films. I went into couture with an immigrant from the Amazon,
Janice Jaguar. We formed the huge fashion emporium, JAGGERS.
Eventually, after President Ralph Lyon ascended to the presidency of Kenya,
he asked me to be his press secretary, a position I hold to this
day. The division in our professions finally led to the break up of
Bertram and me. We still remain great friends, lunching weekly.
Bertram took a bit of time to explore Paris and the characters there. This
was the final straw in our love story. I met Dr. Lawrence Leoparde,
the brilliant and enigmatic director of the Leopard Awareness Center, a
psychiatric facility recently renamed Family Services of the Masai
Mara. Lawrence and I have had our ups and downs. They have been
painful but we seem to be working through them. When President Lyon made
gay marriages legal in Kenya, Lawrence and I married in a quiet and unassuming
service under a spreading Banyan tree.
are the stories of my friends and acquaintances in the Mara. Some are
close, some merely known by me in a brief manner. All have their different
facets that render them interesting. It is the story of a changing society
with all of the woes and pitfalls of such. I hope you enjoy these as much
as I enjoy being a part of this society......