Vervet ‘varmints’ vex my efforts against being fooled

August 14, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 2.00.52 PMAlong the road and in the bushes of the Eastern Cape, the black-faced vervet monkey seems to be at the ready to bound across and around vehicles and people on the lookout for cheap eats, i.e. people’s eats.  And I unwittingly provided some for the rascally varmints.

Now I had no intention of giving those scampering scavengers any food.  vervetwarn1Just in case I was even harboring a notion that they were cute, my home away from home in the Addo Elephant National Park had a little reminder about the trouble with vervets. Right on the refrigerator and plain as day.

Despite the warnings AND what I thought was due diligence, I experienced perhaps my most aggravating wildlife encounter:  getting bluffed by a trio of vervets.

Here I thought I was smart, putting my apples and a bran muffin in the breadbox and closing the breadbox door.  That was mistake No. 1.

After a sunrise game drive, I made myself some coffee decided to sit outside on the porch reviewing my pictures with the room door open to let in the gentle breezes.  That was mistake No. 2.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 2.01.22 PMNow one vervet came up to me on the porch and I thought I shooed it away.  That was the ruse my friends.  As I went back to my photos and computer, the rascally varmints did an end-around.

Well, those vervets (and I mean three of them!) somehow got past me only to be discovered by the housekeeper who came by for what should have been an easy cleaning.  As she started shouting at them, I turned and found the three muffin rustlers (and apple grabber) high-tailing it out with their treasure.  Bran muffin crumbs all over the place! And egg on my face because I had read the warnings and thought I could outsmart the vervets.

Oh, and that wasn’t enough.  They came back within a few minutes looking for more.  I took no chances and ALL food went into the frig and the porch door was staying closed.

A pox on them. Bah!

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About janetkolodzy

Janet Kolodzy is a Professor of Journalism at Emerson College, Boston, MA. After a career as a print and broadcast journalist, she has been teaching about the practice of convergence journalism, which encourages the use of a mix of media storytelling tools to help journalists inform audiences.
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