JUNGLE CHAT by Michael Kirby

‘I feel I’ve transcended my apehood,’ chimp one said.
      ‘Bananas!’ said chimp two.
      ‘My grandmother knew Tarzan,’ chimp three offered.

‘No – I’m here now seeing the future,’ chimp one declared. He then named himself Clarence and went off on one: ‘Here’s the thing: where does thought come from?
It appears to be autonomous – has a mind of its own. Where do Ifigure in this?’ Clarence thumped his chest.
      ‘I think I’ll make tea – make bread – make a shopping list – make arrangements etc.
Sounds straightforward enough but what about those thoughts that come uninvited? Sometimes they appear then fart around in one’s head like deflating balloons – collapsing in a crumpled heap on the carpet of our brains.
      But while that very thing is happening embryonic thoughts have matured and assail us from – where!?’ Chimp two plucked some nits from her scalp, gave them the eye then sucked them down with a showy bit of lip-smacking.
      Clarence gave her a disdainful look and continued. ‘Without doubt when thought is captured it can be transformed via our physical selves into the most wondrous creations – and indeed the most dangerous…’ Chimp two hurled a coconut at an approaching leopard.
      ‘The hands of thought,’ Clarence mused. ‘It is our hands/fingers that make thought tangible – we take it for granted of course, but what a thought!’
      ‘I could get into this,’ chimp three said, waggling her digits. ‘Yeah for sure – I just had an uninvited thought that the end is known before the beginning.’
      ‘So, you didn’t think it then?’ Clarence said knowingly.
      ‘No, it just arrived – like – like the wind.’
      ‘There you go. And did you feel separate from it?’ Clarence was eager now to have a kindred spirit.
      ‘Well, I don’t really know,’ chimp three sighed. ‘I seemed to become part of it – as we do when the wind howls through the trees.’
      Chimp two yawned.
      ‘Thing is, there’s a wonderful silence without thought,’ Clarence said, like he’d been there and got the badge. ‘And it is then that the profound question may be asked – Who am I?’
      ‘But aren’t you thinking that?’ chimp three quizzed.
      ‘Ssshhhh,’ Clarence whispered.
      ‘Bananas!’ chimp two cried.


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