Monkey gets the lion’s share!

Resident monkey tucking into an orange that she managed to steal while our guard was down – July 2020

Zaza has been an inventor since the time she could move around independently. Always making stuff and trying out new things. A lot of the time it turned out to be an utter disaster, but when she got it right, she had us all stunned. A craze many parents would like to forget about is slime. Well, Zaza was the queen of slime. She perfected it when even teens 1 through 3 couldn’t. Admittedly she was a whole lot more persistent.

I’ll never forget hubby’s annoyed “where on earth is my contact lens solutions” or “how can my shaving cream possibly be empty” and the girls’ cries of “Mummy! Zaza has used all the …………. “(insert your choice of glue/shampoo/conditioner/cleanser/face-cream/maizena). I love the girls trying out new things and experimenting so I bought Zaza, her own contact lens solution, shaving cream and glue so that she could carry on inventing in peace.

She has also learnt to cook, largely of her own accord (being child number 4 of course) and I’ve eaten some stuff that literally had the other 3 gagging at the thought. Well, she is my child and even with all the wasted ingredients and strange flavours, I love her chutzpah! She enjoys the process so much that the end result fades into insignificance.

Zaza has rarely tried cakes though. She has made muffins, scones, biscuits, French toast, crumpets, pancakes and a variety of interesting concoctions. (Recipes are not a prerequisite for the littlest.) One of the cakes she baked though really stands out for me. She was probably about 5 years old and baked a bright purple cake. She was very proud of it and although it looked dodgy, kind of purple in the middle and brown around the sides, I said I’d try a slice. Teens 1 through 3 declined – suddenly they were all very full. It was appalling. I could barely keep a straight face. I think she used salt instead of sugar. I put on my game face though and pretended that not only was it edible it was in fact delicious. I asked her if she was going to have some too and her reply was “ewww no ways”. Hmmmm.

So during lockdown in 2020, Zaza decided to try her hand at baking a proper cake, recipe and all. She pulled it off perfectly. The cake looked and smelled delicious. She set it aside to cool down and went outside to chill on one of the swinging chairs. Teens 1 through 3 were engrossed in their books and I was in chalet 4 sorting out a load of groceries I’d bought.

A monkey trying to figure out how to get into the house for a raid – July 2020

Suddenly, I heard a huge ruckus and thought someone had hurt themselves. I dashed over from chalet 4 to find out what was wrong. Zaza was in tears and the rest of the family was running around the garden. Chaos reigned. The aroma of cake wafting over the African savannah must have alerted the monkeys and one of the offspring had left a door open. The monkeys couldn’t contain themselves. They were squabbling over the cake and grabbing pieces as they tried to dodge Zaza’s sisters who were incensed by the cheek of the pesky little rascals. When Zaza finally came to terms with her loss, she simply baked another cake. The sneaky monkeys staked us out day after day and also managed to make off with a whole loaf of bread freshly out of the oven on another occasion. The main culprit, a cheeky male monkey with a limp, watched me often when I was in the kitchen and if I turned my back, there he would be, trying his luck!

Happy monkeys with full tummies – July 2020

Published by Ally's Bush Tales

I am a lover of the African Bush, blessed to live for parts of the year on a Wildlife Estate in Limpopo, South Africa.

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