Squirrel Monkey weighs up to about 1 kg. They live in primary and
secondary forests and cultivated areas. Disturbed habitats are advantageous
because of their greater supply of preferred food - insects (such as grasshoppers)
and fruit. They rarely travel on the ground and are most active in the
morning and late afternoon. They have large group sizes (40 - 70 individuals)
in continuous forest. They are non-aggressive and egalitarian - neither
males nor females appear to be dominant. Females are usually the ones
who disperse to another troop. The Central American squirrel monkey has
always been restricted to the Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica and Panama.
They have already declined drastically due to clearing of forests. Currently,
deforestation and habitat fragmentation due to agriculture and tourism
development are the major causes of decline. Insecticide spraying, the
pet trade and electrocution from electric power lines have also adversely
affected these squirrel monkeys.
Meeting my Past
Some insights are so clear to me today
that I accept them as truths.
But only a few years ago
I would've been hesitant
to consider them at all.
If I met my old self on the street
and we talked over a meal,
I'd consider him problematic
and be concerned for his future.
I'd have no desire to be pals
and would walk away after our meal,
relieved to be free of him,
and he'd probably feel the same.
His addictions would make him uneasy.
My sobriety would remind him
of the demons nipping at his heels
that he would soon have to face.
But he'd come up with another reason
to avoid that thought.
He'd say to himself,
that guy is quiet, that guy is dull,
and his impatience to lift his next drink
would write me off.
Raud Kennedy is a writer and dog trainer in Portland, Oregon. To learn
about his most recent work, Portland, a collection of short stories, please