General Non-Fiction posted December 11, 2017

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A short story of disbelief

Snow Monkeys

by Sharon Meda

When I think of monkeys, I envision little people-like creatures that live in tropical jungles and swing from coconut tree to coconut tree eating bananas. Not necessarily so, I have recently become aware that there is a species called the Snow Monkey living in the Jigokudani Yaenkoen park in Nagano, Japan where they hang out in the local hot springs during the winter months.

The park opened in 1964 and since then has entertained thousands of visitors from around the world coming to see the Japanese Macaque, a monkey species native to northern Japan. With their gray-brown fur, red face and hands, they do in fact look like a furry version of the monkeys I know. Males range from 20 -- 30 pounds while females are smaller at around 11 -- 12 pounds.

They are similar to other non-human primates in most ways, but the biggest difference is they live in areas where snow covers the ground for many months of the year. Another big difference lies in the fact that the males spend most of the time on the ground while the females take to the trees. Also, they have short tails, so no swinging here. They are great swimmers as well, and have been reported to swim over a third of a mile.

The first time I heard of monkeys living in the snow and soaking in hot tubs, my first thought was, 'You've got to be kidding me'. I just couldn't believe it. With research, thanks to Google, I've learned that it's not a joke, and these little guys really do exist. So now I've added one more travel destination to my list of 'must see' places. Seeing is believing, after all.

You've Got to Be Kidding Me writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a short story of with a maximum of 1500 words. Somewhere in the story, the phrase "you've got to be kidding me" should appear. It can be fact or fiction, humorous or serious, your choice...


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