The evening was sultry, pitching just the right side of daylight when the insects decided to get excited about the night ahead, offering up their own prayers of protection to the jungle gods, wondering if they would survive until morning or if they would finally behold the bringer of their end.
My mother was busy greeting the patriarchs in the usual Bonobo manner and I was helping myself to the remnants of a mango while contemplating to where the sun disappeared during the night. Did it have its own family duties to perform? Perhaps it took the light to shine upon another jungle beneath this one…
I was lost in these idle thoughts when I heard a commotion a few tree lengths up the bank of the river near which we spent most of our days. Running water was a luxury and my mother’s troupe guarded our place here jealously.
Of course, it was my brother, the black impala of the family and frequent troublemaker, one would think almost by design. He was attempting to wrestle a large brown stick from the firm clutches of our older cousin. What value this piece of wood had to either of them, one could only guess.
It was then I noticed the most recent addition to our extended family rummaging in the nearby undergrowth – a young female. I could tell by the posturing and sideways glances thrown her direction by my brother and cousin that the stick was less of a prize than perhaps winning her approval.
Having inherited my Mother’s skill at diplomacy, I always make it my mission to intervene to save the lesser males from making baboon’s backsides of themselves. Reaching for a bigger stick, I shouldered the wooden item and moseyed over to my battling, posturing brothers. I didn’t fail to notice that now the female’s attention had refocused. In hierarchal terms, I did have the advantage, our mother being matriarch and my brother being a few minutes younger than me.
I always did enjoy reminding him of his place. A firm but gentle bonk on both their heads with my bigger stick having the desired effect, I approached the female and introduced myself.
To the Victor (though that’s not my name obviously) go the spoils.
It was inevitable from that moment, I was destined for great things.