So we have this mystery in our family.

It’s a bit of an odd mystery.

Have you ever had that sensation of remembering something from your childhood that was just plain weird and totally illogical, and then one day realizing that your parents must have been teasing, or talking about something else? That may be too vague to explain what I’m talking about, but here’s our family mystery:

My Mom remembers, plain as day, as a normal occurrence in her childhood, her Mom (Mammaw) telling her about her pet monkey that she had as a child.

Yes. Mammaw had a pet monkey. In the 1930’s.

Sounds logical, no?

Normally, I would just write that off as one of those strange childhood memories. Except for the fact that my Mom’s siblings ALSO remember hearing about said monkey, and also associate their mother’s childhood with having this pet.

However, Mammaw says this is the most ludicrous thing that she has ever heard, that she NEVER had a pet monkey, and has NO idea where they came up with this.

And actually, one of the top 10 funniest moments of our family history (right below the Mammaw/Chris Spoons Debacle) is when this memory discrepancy was discovered.

We were having a normal Sunday Family lunch, and somehow monkeys came into the conversation. Just as normally as she would have said, “please pass the peas”, my Mom says, “Well Mother, you should know, because of your childhood pet monkey.”

Mammaw twists her face in complete confusion and ridiculosity. “I had a WHAT?!?!?!?!”

Mom: “Your pet monkey!”

Mammaw: “I never had a PET MONKEY!!!”

Mom: “Of course you did!! You told us about it all the time!!”

Mammaw, in the most “where did you YOU come from” voice ever: “NOOOO I didn’t!!”

I cannot tell you how long the rest of us laughed at this conversation, as my Mother’s comprehension of the universe came tumbling down around her.

So it has become somewhat of a family mystery AND a family joke. Anytime there is anything to be said about Mammaw forgetting something, someone has to say, “Well there WAS the pet monkey, after all.”

Or, conversely, any time there’s a comment made about one of my Mom’s slight airheaded moments (that “slight” was added so as to not insult my Mother), someone has to say, “Well she DID think her Mom had a pet monkey, after all.”

My personal opinion is that there WAS a pet monkey mentioned in their childhood, but it was some sort of threat, or wild story, or something that left this impression in three kids minds.

There HAD to have been something behind this wild tale.

Either Mammaw made up a series of bedtime stories about a pet monkey that was very realistic, or she threatened them that she would get her pet monkey to attack them if they didn’t behave, or SOMETHING.

Or maybe Mammaw DID have a pet monkey, and just loves to see us all squirm with curiosity. I could totally see her pulling that trick.

The world will never know.

12 thoughts on “A Monkey Tale

  1. I can picture the monkey conversation perfectly. It seems like one my family would have. Personally, I think Mammaw is pulling a fast one on you all.

  2. Good stuff. I have convinced my kids that there is a raccoon that lives in the walls of our local Mexican restaurant that steals quesadillas.

    Don’t ask.

  3. I think there must have been a pet monkey some way, somehow in their childhood, because why would 3 kids remember it? You’re probably right about it having been a wild story told at bedtime. That would be my guess.

  4. That is bizarro. But there are things already that all 3 of my kids remember wrong.

    Either that or I’m remembering wrong…

    And I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I MUST know about Lianne’s raccoodilla.

    Guest post?

  5. “Racoodilla?” LOL! I love it!

    Hee hee. It’s one of those things that the kids will grill me about later, I’m sure, and I will look at them like they are crazy and deny it. It was a story kind of concocted to convince the children to eat their food/explain how some of their quesadilla disappeared when Daddy was left alone at the table whilst the rest of the family was on the North American bathroom tour. The kids (ages 8 and 5) totally bought into it. They still ask me when we go to that restaurant if I was serious. I point to a hole in the ceiling tile and one in the plaster wall (we eat at such classy places…) and say, “What do you guys think?”

    I don’t know why it was a raccoon. It was the first thing that popped into my head. I am going to milk that thing for all it’s worth, though.

    If my kids ask you later, YOU NEVER READ THIS, all right? I will disavow all knowledge of this comment. :)

  6. I do remember the pet monkey story coming up when I wanted a pet monkey. She told the story of how nasty they were trying to convince me that I didn’t really want a pet monkey. Sooooo, maybe she made up the story to make me not want the monkey any more. Orrrr maybe from her description of how nasty they can be, we kids assumed she must of had a monkey. But it is a little suspicious that we all remember mamaw’s monkey. Mom

  7. That is SO funny! You'll have to let us know if the truth about the monkey ever surfaces. Families all have some skeletons in the closet or monkeys in your case. :-)

    Thanks for joining in the 'extreme pet carnival'.

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