song of the naked ape

Long long ago, when the world was young,
An ape tribe lived in the jungle.
They lived their ape lives,
They chased after mates.
They loved their ape loves,
They seethed their ape hates.
From ancient green canopy’s branches we swung.
Life was good for a tribe in the jungle.

What was the misfortune, the bad luck, the shame,
That drove one tribe from the jungle?
No one can say how
One tribe of apes fell,
Familiar heaven to
Mysterious hell,
From our canopy torn, forced to stake a new claim
On the prairie beyond the jungle.

Long long ago, under skies open wide,
A wolf pack lived on the prairie.
Couples for life,
Mice and fowl they ate.
But hunt in a pack,
And no prey is too great.
Howl at the moon, snuggle side by side.
Life was good for a pack on the prairie.

But the prairies were cruel to apes who behave
Like an ape tribe out on the prairie.
Generations of sorrow,
The storied stones told
How Nature’s hard hand
Crafts the new from the old.
Survive or die trying, the choice that she gave
Made us live like wolves on the prairie.

Once outcasts, now masters, with civilized ways,
We’re so far from the jungle and prairie.
But the wolf and the ape,
Both still speak in my heart.
Says one “Fierce and loyal!”
Says one “Play it smart!”
I’m guided by both as I wander this maze,
Never leaving the jungle and prairie.

My tribute to Desmond Morris, author of  The Naked Ape.


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