Since it’s the Year of the Monkey it seems appropriate to include this little guy next. A “monkey” isn’t necessarily a specific animal, but any of 260 versions, so there was a lot to choose from. I think chimpanzees are cute, but they’re not actually monkeys, but apes, since they don’t have a tail. I opted for this baby macaque after skimming through references that looked like everything from Einstein to Yoda. There seemed to be something quintessentially monkey about this guy so that’s where we landed today. Though the first day of the Chinese New Year was actually a week ago, and many who celebrate it are returning to work now, here’s a little monkey to usher in the year.
When I was a kid we would go to a favorite little Chinese restaurant in town. I remember how fun it was to find my animal on the little paper placemats emblazoned with the Chinese zodiac. I always wanted to be a cute little monkey, and looked again each time as though it might come up differently, but was instead continually deemed a pig, based on my irritatingly persistent birth year. An unfortunate discovery to be sure, when you’re a nerdy, chubby kid about to chow down on a giant plate of General Tso’s chicken… with a fork. Actually, in some restaurants the placemats said “Boar” but that didn’t really make things any better.
Some of you out there might be a Monkey if you were lucky enough be born in one of these years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004. As the Chinese placemat states: “You are very intelligent and are able to influence people. An enthusiastic achiever, you are easily discouraged and confused. Avoid Tigers.” That last bit seems rather obvious for a monkey, but there you have it. You’re welcome. Next up is “N” so if you have a suggestion of a creature starting with that letter, be sure to shout it out in the comments!