By Dennis Young
In my area we have one species of monkey. It is the red face and ass Macaque
Macaca Fuscata, found only in Japan. Some of you may have seen these so
called 'adorable' critters they show lounging in the hot springs in some
Since they have no predators, aside from the occasional irate farmer who
has decided to take no more from the buggers constantly raiding his fields
or orchards, (and no, we don't eat their brains over here), so their numbers
are steadily increasing, to the point where they are all over the place
certain times of the year, when they filter out of the mountains looking
One otherwise unordinary pleasant afternoon I was tooting on the DeRosa
up a long and fairly steep hill, through a area that these monkeys are
known to frequent, a place where I usually don't ride much.
I saw a group of them on the road and up in the trees, generally being
their obnoxious selves by trying to shake stuff down upon me from above.
Usually the ones on the road hear, see, or smell you coming, and move
off into the brush out of sight. That was what I expected, when just as
I passed them, suddenly out of the pack this rather unhappy looking fellow
tears out after me. Since it was along a quite steep hill, there was little
chance of out running the thing. He runs up along the side of me making
loud screeching sounds and baring his teeth, and with saliva flying he
keeps trying to take a bite out of my leg. I started swerving all over
the place, kind of panicking because he wouldn't let up. My leg going
around in circles and the irregular route I was taking gave him problems,
so he couldn't quite zero in on the drum stick, but he wasn't missing
by much. It went on like this for about a hundred yards, and especially
with the adrenalin pumping, I started to really get pooped out.
No matter what the charming photos show, the males can get rather large
and muscular, and standing up on his hind legs he would be easily above
my saddle height, so the last thing I wanted was any intimate contact
with the fiend, and a heart attack seemed like the lesser of the evils,
so I kept on pumping for all I was worth.
Perhaps he became tired too, or his big showoff for the ladies was sufficient,
and he stopped chasing me and sat down in the road. I stopped to catch
my breadth about forty yards ahead, and damn if the sucker doesn't start
walking towards me again. I didn't think I had it in me to try the same
getaway, and by the time I got on the bike and was in the toe clips again
moving up the hill, he would easily be upon me.
I laid the bike down and picked up a somewhat large tree branch that with
luck was close by (true story!). This seemed to make him reassess the
situation, and he started moving off in a perpendicular direction, somewhat
aided by a few large rocks aimed in his direction. People tell me that
such attacks are a rarity, but I really don't much trust these animals.
So, now when I ride where they tend to hang out, I'm packing a 44 magnum
squirt gun filled with powerful toilet bowl cleaner. OK hairy punk, make
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