Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Crazy Langur


There are two kinds of monkeys up here where we are staying… One is the monkey… I don’t know it’s real name, but everyone just calls this one a “monkey”… we have these all over the country, even in the capital and where we live. These are the regular brown ones that I have a lot of pictures of. Now, there’s another kind of monkey up here that is mostly only found in colder places… it’s call the Langur. It’s really cool!! They are big monkeys that are black and white in color (see the picture). They have really long tails and can do really cool jumps and tricks. The Langur are nicer than the monkeys and they tend to keep to themselves and eat leaves (the monkeys like to eat trash and people food a lot… they also like to steal it out of your hands!). Monkeys are really fun to look at – they do the funniest things!! There’s just a couple of rules when dealing with any kind of monkeys…
1. Don’t look them in the eye or show your teeth to them unless you want to fight
2. When walking around with food, keep it in bags and unreachable to the monkeys that may want it (especially bananas :) )…
3. (This is my own personal rule).. if you are walking with a dog that likes to chase monkeys – BEWARE – the dog may try to hide behind you while enticing the monkeys and you may get stuck in the middle of a fight J …..
Now, if you follow those rules, you will get to enjoy the monkeys and they won’t bother you …. Hopefully….

OK, so when we got up here, the locals warned us of a crazy Langur in the area. They said that he was once the “alpha male” and the leader of one of the troops, but one day, another big male decided he wanted to be the alpha male and leader of the troop. They had a big fight and the original leader lost… so then he was kicked out of the troop (you can’t have 2 huge males in one troop… it just doesn’t work… the leader would always be fighting him off)… So now, this huge male doesn’t have a troop and he can’t join another troop, so he roams around by himself… now Langurs, like most monkeys, are very social animals… so being by himself has made him very crazy. The locals say… “if you see a Langur that is by himself, pick up the biggest rock you can find and throw it at him from as far away as you can get.”

Well, we heard the stories of this Langur many times and mostly wrote it off as paranoia (a large amount of people are very paranoid and superstitious in this country and we are used to hearing crazy stories like that)… so we took the information and kept it in the backs of our minds… one day we saw a Langur and thought he was by himself, so we picked up some rocks – only to see that the whole troop was there also – just hanging out, eating leaves… so, after the first week, we just forgot about the story…. Until yesterday…..

Yesterday Adam & I were walking back from Hindi class…Adam saw a Langur in a tree near the language school… we looked at it and walked on. As we walked, I was talking to Adam about my classes for that day… what I learned, what was confusing.. ect… We heard this strange noise behind/around us… it sounded like running water… it had just been raining, and there are a lot of “water runoffs” down the mountain, so we didn’t think anything of it, and I just continued talking about my classes… We continue to hear that sound of running water, and we both look around and don’t see anything, so we continue on our way, and I continue with my story…

THEN, all of sudden, the sound changes and we hear a loud sound, and then the sound of feet pounding down the wall… we look behind us, just in time to see a HUGE Langur right behind us, charging right at us!!! At that point, we realized that the “running water sound” was the monkey stalking/chasing us through the trees!!! We grab our umbrellas and open them up, hoping to make some sort of barrier between us and the Langur… The Langur did not like this and tried to run around behind us – away from the umbrellas… He kept charging at us and lunging at us… he would not be scared away…. So Adam decided to fight back “monkey-style” -- he looked the Langur in the eye and flashed his teeth and made the monkey “fighting sounds” (we learned these sounds from our monkey-dog incident)… and started pushing the umbrella at him… all the while, we were trying to find big rocks to throw at him… We found some rocks and started throwing them at the crazy Langur… he stood his ground for a while, but then retreated to a tree that was right next to us…He was still very close to us and continued to lunge towards us and he looked as if he was going to jump down on us from the tree… So Adam threw some more rocks at him (his baseball skills being put to work)… Finally, the Langur seemed like he might have given up… so we threw rocks at him as we quickly walked away (never turning or backs to him) – until we were out of throwing range… Then we “high-tailed” it out of there and got to Chardukan (the four stores) – to a more populated area…
And that is our story of the crazy Langur….

4 COmMeNTs FrOm PeOpLe wHo ROCK!:

allhisblessings said...

Holy Cow! I mean, Monkey!

Barbara Kidd said...

HA! OH my! This totally brought back flash backs of all the monkey attack times I had in India! One time in the mountains I had one chase me for my french fries, I was NOT giving up my food to the crazy monkey! Oh sigh, so many memories. I am glad you guys have had the chance to go to language school! I am sure you learned SO much! I always look forward to reading your stories! Ashirwad!

Anonymous said...

haha...you're blog is hilarious! i can only imagine the scene of that amazing incident! i hope you are doing well! have you guys moved to d-town yet? blessings to you both!
lindsey cooper

south asia said...

That's...insane.