I almost died today! Don’t laugh, I’m serious! I could have ended up on the evening news.
I was out for my walk this morning on the Monkey Trail, when I looked down the trail and saw what I thought, at first glance, was a giant cat standing in the middle of the trail about 50 feet in front of me. Then I thought, No, that’s much to big to be a cat. So my next thought was that it could be a cougar (I did graduate from BYU after all. Go Cougs!) Then I remembered that I was in Taiwan and not Utah, so the cougar theory was out. Then I realized that it was a giant monkey; a Formosan Macaque to be exact. Funny, given the name of the trail that monkey was all the way down to my third guess. (When I told my 15 year-old this story, at this point she gave me the “You’re Such an Idiot” glare.)
I immediately stopped walking and hoped that the monkey would lumber off the trail. In the meantime, I tried not to look him in the eye, because I had been warned that if you look a monkey in the eye, he will think that you want to attack and will take the offensive and attack you first. Not good! So I’m standing on the trail, trying to look nonchalant to a monkey when suddenly (and this is where the close call with death occurred) just to my right a monkey let out a blood-curdling scream! I let out my own human version of a blood-curdling scream and jumped backward. It was then that I realized that the screaming monkey was hanging from a branch close enough to my head to have been able to swat my right cheek. All I could think of was that lady whose face was ripped-off by a chimpanzee.
Seriously not wanting to be the next face transplant recipient, I took a couple of more steps back and as I did I looked up. To my shock and horror there were countless monkeys all around me in the trees above my head. I felt like Jane from Disney’s Tarzan when she finds herself surrounded by monkeys in the jungle. I started whimpering a little and looked around to see if there were any people in sight; no people, only monkeys. So I ducked my head, tried not to look any of them in the eye and tip-toed forward.
After a half a dozen steps, I looked up and there above my head was the tiniest baby monkey I have seen in Taiwan, looking me right in the eye with a death glare. Another whimper, a quickened pace and a racing heart and I was outta there. And so ended my close call with death by monkey.
And then, later on my walk I was almost hit by a car. But I have to say that death by car wouldn’t be nearly as cool to have in an obituary as death by monkey.