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Nina, the Spider Monkey’s Story

By Volunteer Christine Ellenburg 

Some animals are happy to be pets, like cats, dogs and fish. Other animals want to live in the wild, like monkeys. My name is Nina and I’m a spider monkey. I started off happily in the wild. 

Life was great I would wake up in the morning to the “hooo doottt hooo doottt” of the Motmots. I would go for breakfast with my brother Manny or a swing with my sister Stella until one day I woke up to a different sound… 

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Pop! Was that a hunter? I didn’t know but sure didn’t want to find out. I backed away when, Ahhhh! Suddenly I was in a net! I was scared and the next thing I knew everything went black.

Roar! I woke up in my tree to Jimmy the Jaguar’s noises…or so I thought. When I opened my eyes and looked around I was not in my tree and that was not Jimmy. I was in a colorful tent with other animals I did not know and I was not sitting in my tree, I was in a cage! This must be the circus I thought and trembled. 

The other animals whispered to me about how I would perform for people and do cool tricks, but I didn’t want to do cool tricks not for people who put me in a net and cage. So, when it was my turn to perform I did not.  

The people booed and I knew I was in trouble when a big guy ran up to me with an angry look on his face. I was scared but then someone from the audience came up screaming “Wait, I will take the monkey! I will pay you for her!” 

I was happy to be saved from the circus but I still wanted to be home. So, when I got to a new house I decided to make my new owners not want me. When they all went to sleep I began my plan. I peed on their rug, I tore their pretty blue curtain then I swung from it. It was like a vine on a tree, I finally felt at home and went to sleep. 

Ahhhh! I woke up to another new noise, it was my owner she was very upset. Then I remembered what I had done and I felt bad but it was too late. My owner chained me up in a cage in his backyard. 

Day in and day out I sat in that cage, I wanted to take back what I did and I wanted to go home. It seemed like I would be trapped forever until one day when I woke up to the loud voice of a different man who came out to my cage and was scolding my owner. I was worried, until I heard the click of my cage being opened. 

This new man took me to a place that looked a lot like home. There were trees like at home and a Jaguar like Jimmy, there were Motmots and things to swing from. Most surprisingly there were monkeys like me. He took me to a much bigger cage than the one from the circus or from my last owner’s backyard and he put me inside. Out came other spider monkeys, who told me that I was at a rescue center for wild animals. It could never be quite the same as home but I had a feeling I could like it here and that we could be friends.

This is one of 3 children’s stories written by the 16 year old Ellenburg Triplets.  Their 3 stories will become a a book to be sold by KSTR to teach children the importance of saving the rainforest.  The book will be available next year.  


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