The Monkey's Frolic

General Information

Dear readers,

'The Monkey's Frolic' by Anonymous Author was published in circa 1840.

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K. C. Lee
Story Collector
July 24, 2011

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A Monkey

Our tale is a true one, from which may be taught
A maxim for youth, with utility fraught;--
If terrors assail you, examine the cause,
And all will be well
;--for, by NATURE'S kind laws,
Nor Goblins nor Spectres on earth have a station,--
These phantoms are all of ideal creation.

A Monkey, that comical tricks would be at,
His frolics one morning began with the Cat;
He chatter'd, as much as to say How d' ye do?
And Puss look'd her thanks, and politely cried Mew;
Pug then shook her paw, and they sat down together,
Puss washing her face, indicating wet weather.

Mischief The Monkey

But, mischief the Monkey inclining to harbour,
His skill he resolved now to try as a Barber.--
A soap-box conveniently lay in the room,
"Miss Puss," he exclaim'd, "you'll be shaved, I presume?"
Then scraping and bowing with grin and grimace,
Despite of resistance, he lather'd her face.

Pug Not Find

Now Pug could not find either razor or knife,
So Puss ran no hazard of losing her life;--
Yet razor or knife though they could not be had,
Pug found what the terrified Cat thought as bad;
A knife made of ivory, in use to cut paper,
With which Barber Pug now proceeded to scrape her.

The Strange Operation

But Puss on a sudden deserted her station,
Disliking (no wonder) the strange operation,
And ran round the room without means of escaping;
While Pug, still determined to give her a scraping,
Pursued, and, regardless of struggle or prayer,
Fast bound her, at last, to the back of a chair.

Tucking A Napkin

When, tucking a napkin close under her chin,
Each mew of dismay he return'd with a grin;
And yelling and chattering they raised such a clatter,
That Susan rush'd in to learn what was the matter;
When Pug, overturning the chair midst the clack,
Ran off, leaving Pussy stretched out on her back.

The Sight

The sight was to Susan so curious, that faster
She ran out than in, to tell Mistress and Master;
But, when they came up, neither Puss nor the Shaver
Was there, to account for improper behaviour;--
For Pug had contrived, amid Susan's alarms,
To reach the house-top, with Miss Puss in his arms.

Pug Or Miss Puss

Now fearing that Pug or Miss Puss might be maim'd,
"Go, fetch a long ladder," the Master exclaim'd;
"And bring them down quickly both Barber and Cat."
"Oh, oh!" thought the Monkey, "I sha'nt suffer that."--
The ladder was climb'd by a servant so valiant,
But Pug with loose tiles soon repulsed the assailant.

Against All Manoeuvre

Against all manoeuvre apparently proof,
Pug chatter'd and paced to and fro on the roof,
And fondled the Cat, and next, pitying her case,
He wiped with the napkin the suds from her face;
As nurse would a child, then he held her out so,
While all the spectators kept laughing below.

Now Seeing Him

Now seeing him thus to good humour inclined,
They thought he might prove more pacific of mind,
So mounted the ladder another assailer;
When Pug, of loose tiles now perceiving a failure,
Eluded the grasp of pursuit with a hop,
And gained an adjacent and tall chimney-pot.

Chimney And Chamber

It chanced that the vent of this same chimney led
Direct to a chamber, confined to his bed
Where lay an old gentleman, ill with the gout,
And wishing some bad fate might thence drag him out!
Pug, missing his footing, 'midst vapour and fume,
That instant with Puss tumbled into the room.

Grimed Over With Soot

Grimed over with soot, they kick'd up such a rout,
And caper'd the sick man's apartment about,
And chatter'd and squall'd in a manner so hideous,
Like young imps of darkness, that, not to be tedious,
The sufferer forgot both his gout and his prayers,
And scamper'd, pursued by these phantoms, down stairs!

A Medical Man

There sat in the parlour a medical man,
And thither pursued and pursuers now ran;--
And Puss and the Monkey grown fiercer and bolder,
Physician and Patient seized each by his shoulder,
Who raised such a yell, that the chorus resembled
A legion of mad-caps from Bedlam assembled!

Wonder-Struck Inmate

The tumult each wonder-struck inmate alarm'd;
At length on assistance they ventured, well arm'd,
And entered the scene of dismay and despair,--
When, lo! no invaders of quiet were there!
But Doctor and Patient lay stretch'd on the floor,
Not wotting of terror a forthcoming cure.

Mystery Cleared

The incident soon was of mystery clear'd,--
The owner of Pug and Grimalkin appear'd;--
"My Monkey and Cat have created alarm;
I hope," he observed, "you have not taken harm:"--
Then cautiously peering the chamber about,
He dragg'd, from the Chimney, both intruders out.

Humour And Fun

Alarm now gave way to good humour and fun,--
"Much harm to my friend," said the Patient, "is done;
Your Ape pill and potion has put to the rout,
And cured me, I thank him, at once of the Gout."
He then to the Monkey made reverence profound,
Who salam'd politely the company round.

A Lesson Learned

The Doctor a lesson thus learn'd, that, despite
Of physic, the Gout may be cured by a fright;
And, since this affair, now and then on the sly
In similar cases same means he will try.--
To show that no malice or envy he knew,
He shook hands with Pug, and each party withdrew. (End)