After misunderstanding/ What the old sister teaches us*

In the British zoo,
when the Alpha and the Beta male chimps
were angry, they screamed, leaped, broke
branches off their little tree, shook
and glared, bared and gnashed their teeth,
then sat down, backs
turned, as far as they could get
from one another. 

All the females, the lesser
males, and the babies
would huddle agitated, chattering, watchful
until the old female sidled up to Beta,
asked for grooming.

After he began, she’d slowly
work her way toward her main
man, Alpha, sulking
in his corner.  Beta followed
still grooming as the Old One settled herself
close, humbly receptive closer, oh-so-very close
until Alpha began to groom her too. 

Finally,
when they were calm, she’d slip
from between their peaceful moving
hands, so they could
groom each other. 
And they did.

                                                   2/29/2000
  * thanks to Jane Goodall’s account in Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

2 comments

  1. thank you. I love it.

    On Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 4:43 PM Singing Frog Press wrote:

    > SingingFrogPress posted: ” In the British zoo,when the Alpha and the Beta > male chimpswere angry, they screamed, leaped, brokebranches off their > little tree, shookand glared, bared and gnashed their teeth,then sat down, > backsturned, as far as they could getfrom one another. Al” >

    Liked by 1 person

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