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How long does it take a monkey to learn a new trick? Umm.. I have no idea really, but I can tell you how long it takes for one to learn to drink from a pouch. The  other day, we, the son, the niece and myself, were at Nandi Hills at Bangalore when we noticed a lone monkey with a pouch of mango juice which it probably had swiped off an unsuspecting kid, or a careless adult for that matter.

Pleased at having outwitted one of her supposedly smarter cousins, the simian proceeded to stare at the snatched prize, trying to decipher the codes to unlock its contents (“Oh! The tantalising aroma!”). She gently tried pressing the distended ‘tummy’ of the pouch. Out dribbled a few drops of golden yellow juice and fell on the ground in front of her. Tentatively, she licked them (Golly, THIS was good!), getting some mud too into her mouth in the process. Then, she pressed the pouch belly again, with more force this time, and bent to lick the mango juice-mud combo.

At that point, I could almost hear her monkey brain whirring in frustration, “There has got to be a better way than this! Besides, I don’t see any humans with their nose to the ground!” And then she got it (Gawd, what a dumbo she had been!), the right way to get at the tasty juice inside. She put the mouth of the pouch to her lips and gently squeezed. “Eureka!!!” she screamed… er.. I mean I did, just before capturing the scene for ye all. 😉

©Shail Mohan 2016

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