Friday, December 7, 2007

Just another nightmare -- jcarolek

When I was a kid we had a monkey. His name was Chico and he was actually our second monkey. The first, Impy, had been a squirrel monkey, but Chico was a capucian monkey. he stood about 18 inches tall, I guess, and was a crazy pet. But, I loved him.

One night, for some reason I have long since forgotten, I was allowed to sleep with Chico in my top-bunk bed. Much like a normal child might be allowed to have the family cat or dog sleep at their feet, I was allowed to have Chico sleep on my pillow. However, due to his mischievous nature, he was secured to the bedpost with his leash.

All was well and I drifted off to sleep, my sister in the lower bunk and Chico curled up on the pillow beside me.

Sometime in the night I had a nightmare....I dreamed my face was being ripped off...literally tearing the skin from the meat and bones....and I screamed....

I actually do not recall my screams waking my sister, but I do recall waking to find myself on the floor, having fallen out of bed....attached to my face, was Chico...biting in self-defense and clinging in true fear as we both had fallen out of the top bunk. My mother, I recall, cleaned me up, put medicine on the bite and back to bed I went....with Chico on my pillow.

When morning came and the alarm rang marking our need to get a move on, I apparently, for the second time, rolled over on Chico...and again, he bit me, this time on the chin, where the first time had been on the cheek close to the ear. This second one was not as bad as the first, as I was waking at the time it occurred.

But, that morning, as I made my way into the classroom, I had to endure the stares from the other girls and the questioning looks from the nuns....I do not recall trying to explain that my face had been bitten twice by a monkey....I recall thinking that nobody would believe me anyway.

I don't think I ever asked to have Chico sleep on my pillow again. I learned the there is a time and place for everything and a monkey on my pillow was not a great plan, when I was trying to sleep. And today, though I can still see the scars from other bites on my hands, I can see no scars on my face from that night.

If I didn't know it happened...if my mother hadn't have needed to tend to my wounds...I could believe it was just another nightmare.....

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