She’s an interesting specimen, this creature known as the Papaya Monkey who lives in our home. We’ve been studying her in her native environment for the past 11 years, and our findings are puzzling. What follows are our extensive field notes.
From the moment of her birth this strange new breed of offspring captivated us, starting with her sweet smelling newborn breath. It’s an intoxicating scent this researcher still remembers, even now. No one had ever prepared me for that specific slice of Heaven on Earth. It was just the first of many ways in which the little creature surreptitiously captured our hearts. Despite frequent shrill wailing noises, the subject quickly endeared herself to those around her, as evidenced by cutesy nicknames applied by the researchers such as Maia Papaya and Monkey Maia, later morphed into the more common scientific nomenclature, Papaya Monkey.
Despite the maternal researcher’s early infatuation with the Papaya Monkey’s breath, over the years it has—how shall I delicately put this—not remained quite so sweet. She’s a pre-teen, and, um, she smells like one. It may be a form of reverse evolution, but we’re hopeful that this aversion to hygiene is only a temporary developmental phase. In a strange contradiction, we have noted in our field observations that when the Papaya Monkey does choose to bathe, she seems to enjoy the experience—at least judging by the extended length of time she is willing to subject herself to the flow of water from above. It is too early to draw a firm conclusion, but this behavior suggests the possibility that the subject believes length of hygiene efforts can compensate for their infrequency. Her awareness that freedom from dirt and odor is directly correlated with daily cleansing may not yet be fully developed.
The Papaya Monkey’s personal living space suffers considerably from the subject’s lack of attention. All available evidence points to a pervasive disregard for closets, drawers, shelves, and clothing hampers, with her bedroom floor being the location of choice to store all her personal belongings. We therefore regretfully conclude that tidiness may not be one of the Papaya Monkey’s dominant characteristics.
The research subject exhibits low tolerance for foods that hold actual nutritional value. If there is any truth to the saying that you are what you eat, then the Papaya Monkey is unequivocally destined for a future as a chicken nugget.
The Papaya Monkey is a loving creature who freely dispenses hugs to her family members. She is particularly well bonded with the paternal researcher, who is nearly always willing to act as the subject’s playmate. The maternal researcher, when not assuming the role of disciplinarian, also enjoys close bonding time with the subject. Though the Papaya Monkey has historically had a close and protective relationship with her younger male sibling, she currently exists in a state of occasional antagonism toward him, as well. The researchers believe this to be a symptom of adolescence and that she will eventually outgrow this undesirable behavior.
The Papaya Monkey displays curious social habits when among peers. In a recently observed rare overnight gathering with other females similar in age—intended to celebrate the addition of another year to the Papaya Monkey’s life—researchers noted an excessive amount of giggling and generally high volume communication. The creatures also appeared to enjoy grooming each other by applying colored enamel to the nails on each others’ fingers and toes. All of which was extremely foreign to the Papaya Monkey’s younger male sibling, who complained frequently of the noise.
In positive findings, our extensive research shows that so far the Papaya Monkey appears to have been properly domesticated with respect to adult interactions. The researchers frequently get glowing reports about her attitude and behavior from teachers, church staff and volunteers, and other parents. She is nearly always described as respectful, helpful, caring, and easygoing. Close observation reveals that the subject is also extroverted, confident, and a bit on the theatrical side. She is something of a ham, and not at all afraid to hold a conversation with adults.
As the only specimen of the breed, we are still evaluating the Papaya Monkey’s full intelligence potential, but the data so far is encouraging. Reports from school are overwhelmingly positive, and she is particularly fond of social studies. The Papaya Monkey makes a “dream student” (according to the latest field information from her educational instructors) and appears to be particularly well informed in the history of explorers and conquistadors. She brings home straight A’s on her report cards, which suggests that she is more than adequately prepared for the academic rigors she faces. She has also demonstrated a consistent talent for winning a million dollars on the Nintendo DS version of “Are Your Smarter Than a 5th Grader.” She’s pretty smart, for a monkey. And for a 5th grader.
All things considered, I think we’ll keep the Papaya Monkey. She’s a highly entertaining specimen to study, and she is evolving into a lovely young monkey, I mean lady. The researchers agree that she shows tremendous potential for a happy and productive (if cluttered) future. What more could a Papaya Monkey breeder ask for?