The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious Writing The Spider Monkey - Issue One
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Spider Monkey

The Spider Monkey is pot - bellied, spider - limbed, worried - faced and independent. They have very long legs and tails and are extremely agile. In the tropical rainforest of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, they live in communities that can break into sub-groups of 3-4 individuals. Spider monkeys live in trees up to 35 metres above the ground. Probably only gibbons exceed spider monkeys in agility in the trees. Acrobatic and swift, spider monkeys move through the trees, with one arm stride covering up to 12 metres. They have a prehensile tail, which acts as a fifth limb, able to grasp objects or hold their entire body weight for long periods.
They eat fruit, nuts, seeds or leaves but they will take insects or small animals if they are readily available. Maturity is reached at around four years, with females coming into season every four weeks. Gestation is 7-8 months. Newborns cling to their mothers' abdomen and then travel on her back until independence. The average life span for a Spider monkey is around 20 years. They are closely related to the other monkeys in the family cebidae, including capuchins and howler monkeys.
They have been known to shake a vine occupied by a predator to cause them to fall. They have also been seen breaking off dead branches weighing nearly 5kg and dropping them on the predator.
Reasons for their decline include hunting for food by locals, the use of infants as pets, and habitat loss due to clearing of forests for agriculture and human habitation. They are vulnerable because they have low maturation and reproduction rates. Their habitat, mature rain forests, is being lost to farming at the rate of 35,000 acres a day. Preserving the rainforest in South America will help save them from extinction.


The Never-Ending Cycle


Amina Baljic

Looking back on my schoolyard years I remember there were only two sorts of people: the bullies and the victims.

I remember the times when the geeks grouped together for lunches and the quick walk home.


They were everywhere: in your neighborhood, sitting next to you on the bus, taking the same route to school, sitting next to you in class. Those were times of gum in the hair and painful hair burning. I was told they would either shape my character or destroyed confidence.

There was no "happy medium" in school. Either you were a victim or you were a bully. Bullying, just like anything else, comes in all shapes and sizes. In one corner we have the violent bullies. The bullies that seem to answer any question with a fist. In the other corner we have the bullies that hound emotions. The gossipers. The most vicious bullies.

So, no matter how one looks at it, one was either a bully… or a victim.

As I sit in my little office overlooking a beautiful skyline my valued colleague comes in.

"I heard you're leaving," he says.

"Yes. It's time to move on. Try new things. The air in here is choking me, and I swear to God the walls in here have ears and telepathic abilities."

"Yeah. I hear you. Well, good luck with everything!"

As he closes the door I look outside. What a beautiful day. It has been exactly two days that I have given my notice, and it seems like the whole office is buzzing with my departure. Wherever I walk by I hear the nasty little whispers debating what my leaving was about.

"She thinks she's better than us."

"Yes. I heard she's a slacker too."

Everyone seems to forget that the only reason I came was for a contract that seems to be extending every month. It is time for me to go away. Vacation. Go to school. Think.

"Hey Marty. Do you have time for me to have a little chat with you?" I asked my supervisor exactly two days ago.

"Sure thing Meghan. Hop in. What can I do for you?"

"Well Marty", I say as I close the door for us to have some privacy, "I believe that I have outgrown any further potential here. I love the job, you know that, but I think I'm ready to go back to school."

"Alright Meghan, whatever you wish. You've been a great worker, and count me in as one of your references whenever you need me."

"Thank you Marty. That's definitively appreciated. I'll draft the letter and email it to you by lunch"

Now that I'm back in my office I looking out my window I remember scratching noises at Marty's door. Maybe it's just my imagination. As I try harder to think and look even further out of my window into the skyline, my door opens one more time.

"Hey Meghan, I'm sorry to hear we're loosing you."

"Oh, you're not loosing me, Amy. You know you're a dear friend." Amy has been my right hand woman through thick and thin.

"Listen Megs… I've been hearing some things I think you should know. Remember Alex from your old department?"

"Of course I do!"

"Well, seems that she's been trying to get you fired for a while now. I just recently talked to her and she dismissed your leaving to a lack of competence and a lack of work ethics…"

"You're saying that Alex, the woman that has helped me for a while is saying that? Alex? Alex?"

"Yup. I just thought you should know"

"Wow. I didn't expect that one coming. Thank you Amy. This is really appreciated."

"You know I got your back Megs. Don't think too much of this. People are jealous. They don't know what's going on. Just forget about it. Maybe I shouldn't have told you at all."

"No, no, no. I appreciate you telling me Amy. Thanks."

"Any time Meghan. Ok. Back to work."

As Amy leaves my tiny office and closes the door silently behind her, I look out the window. As my eyes water I tell myself that everything will be alright. Jealousy. That's all.

But the further I lose myself in the skyline, the more I feel like I'm walking home alone after having eaten another lunch in a school washroom stall …

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