One night, by the river, a nosey baboon saw a bright shiny thing in the calm water, and wondered what it was.

He went and asked a giraffe, “What is the bright shiny thing?”

The giraffe was annoyed, and said, “Go away, and stop making fun of my sore nose. It was bitten by an ant”.

The nosey baboon looked around, and asked some fireflies, “What is the bright shiny thing?”

“I am”, said one firefly.
“No, I am”, said another.
“Me too”, said another.
“Me too”, said yet another.

And then all the fireflies started buzzing around each other, arguing about who was the bright shiny one.

The nosey baboon shook his head. This wasn’t getting him anywhere.

He wandered around until he found another monkey, and asked her the same question, “What is the bright shiny thing?”

Just in time, the nosey baboon noticed the monkey’s bright red bottom, and was already running away when the angry monkey tried to swat him for being so cheeky.

The nosey baboon shook his head again. This really wasn’t getting him anywhere.

So, he decided to go and ask the grey parrot, a very wise bird who, it was said, might help other animals by answering their tricky questions in tricky ways.

Eventually the nosey baboon found the grey parrot, on a tree branch, eating nuts.

“What is the bright shiny thing?”, asked the nosey baboon.

“Craaaack, it’s the sun”, replied the grey parrot.

“No, now, at night”, said the nosey baboon.

“Craaaack, ah, you didn’t say that”, replied the grey parrot.

“What is the bright shiny thing, in the river over there, tonight?”, asked the nosey baboon, as clearly as he could.

“Craaaack”, said the grey parrot, “Go and ask a cow, then listen to some bees at home”.

The nosey baboon frowned a bit at this, since it did not seem to be an answer to his question, but he had heard that the grey parrot did answer questions in tricky ways.

So, the nosey baboon went for a long walk, because there were no cows in the jungle.

There were several cows in a field, next to the jungle, and the nosey baboon walked up to one of them and asked as clearly as he could, “What is the bright shiny thing, in the river over there, tonight?”

The cow said, “MOOOO”.

The nosey baboon asked a different cow the same question.

That cow also said, “MOOOO”.

The nosey baboon shook his head. This really, really wasn’t getting him anywhere.

And so, he went off to find some bees at home. Which meant a bees’ nest. Which meant a bee hive. Which meant going back into the jungle, and climbing some trees.

Right at the top of a medium-sized tree, the nosey baboon found a little hive. He put his ear to the side of the hive, and listened.

What he heard was this:
“NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN”.
Not, “MMMMMMMMMMMM”.
Or, “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ”.
But, “NNNNNNNNNNNNN”.

And all that time, the nosey baboon was getting stung. He kept listening, and getting stung, but the sound did not change.

“NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN”.

Cross and sore and tired, the nosey baboon decided to go back to the grey parrot to find out what this was all about.

He soon found the grey parrot again and said, “I went and asked a cow, and I listened to some bees at home. But I still don’t know what is the bright shiny thing, in the river over there, tonight.”

“Craaaack, what did the cow say?”, asked the grey parrot.

“moo”, said the nosey baboon, not really trying very hard to sound like a cow, because he was cross and sore and tired.

“Craaaack, what did bees say?”, asked the grey parrot.

“nnn”, said the nosey baboon, not really trying very hard to sound like bees, because he was cross and sore and tired.

“Craaaack, there you are then”, said the grey parrot.

“What?”, shouted the nosey baboon, who was now very cross and sore and tired.

“Craaaack, what did cow say?”, asked the grey parrot.

“moo”, said the nosey baboon, not really trying very hard to sound like a cow, because he was very cross and sore and tired.

“Craaaack, what did bees say?”, asked the grey parrot.

“nnn”, said the nosey baboon, not really trying very hard to sound like bees, because he was very cross and sore and tired.

“Craaaack, there you are then”, said the grey parrot.

“What?”, screamed the nosey baboon, who was now very, very cross and sore and tired.

“All I got was ‘MOO’ and ‘NNN’”, complained the nosey baboon, “Just ‘MOO’ and ‘NNNN’”.

“Hang on.
MOO and NNNN.
MOO     NNN.
MOO  NNN
MOONNNN.
Moon!”

“That’s it. The bright shiny thing, in the river over there, tonight is the moon”, said the sore and tired, but now happy, nosey baboon.

“Thanks grey parrot”, said the nosey baboon

“Craaack, no problem”, said the grey parrot.

THE
END


...
 
...
...
The Nosey Baboon
(from The Grey Parrot Stories)
by Chris Gathercole
http://stories.upthebuzzard.com, RSS
published: 30 September 2011
...
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
...