The Old Man and The Monkey
Author: George Polley
Genre: Adventure, Inspirational, Legend
Publisher: Taylor Street Publishing
Number of pages: 60
Word Count: 7,267
The Old Man and The Monkey is about a village elder in Japan and the large monkey who became his friend over the last five years of his life. Since the villagers don’t like monkeys, none of them approve of the friendship between the old man Genjiro Yamada and Yukitaro (“snow monkey” in Japanese).
‘The Old Man & The Monkey’ is a stunningly beautiful story of a relationship which develops between an old man and a creature which is regarded as a dangerous pest in Japan, a snow monkey, in George Polley’s moving allegory of dignity in the face of prejudice and racism.
In a small park near one of the rivers that run through the city of Asahikawa, Hokkaido, there is a bronze statue of an old man and a monkey seated side by side on a wide flat stone looking out over the river and the mountains. The monkey is bigger than ordinary snow monkeys; the top of his head reaches to the old man’s shoulder.
Looking at the bags under his eyes, one can see that the monkey, like the man, is elderly. Affixed to the base of the statue is a bronze plaque that reads: “Genjiro and Yukitaro.” These two old friends sit and warm themselves in silence as the years and seasons pass.
As Long as long as the statue has been there, people passing by have paused, wondering how a monkey and a man could become friends because, as everyone knows, monkeys are pests and can be dangerous when humans get too close. Some people tell each other that such a friendship is unnatural, and that because it is unnatural, is impossible. Others believe that Genjiro and Yukitaro are characters that the artist made up. But everyone agrees that the statue is appealing, because the two old friends have such an air of tranquility and peace about them that people come and sit down next to it to enjoy their lunch, or to just sit quietly and look out at the river and the mountains, later commenting on how peaceful the experience was.
So it is that the old man and the monkey receive a constant stream of visitors who sit and enjoy their company in silence and take something of them away to warm themselves.
No one believes the old man and the monkey were real; but I know that they were because the old man was my grandfather, Genjiro Yamada, and Yukitaro was his companion and friend for the last five years of his life.
Now is the time for me to tell their story and reveal for the first time how an improbable friendship like that between a man and a monkey happened, how it was good, and how it ended.
George Polley was born in Santa Barbara, California and raised in Seattle, Washington. He has lived in California (Berkeley and Stockton), Illinois (Cooks Mills and Villa Grove), Minnesota (Luverne, Marshal and Minneapolis), and from 1984 until early in 2008, in Seattle, when he and his wife moved to Sapporo, Japan so that she could fulfill her dream of returning to the land of her birth.
His work has appeared in the South Dakota Review, Crow’s Nest, Expanding Horizons, The Enchanted Self, Community Mental Health Journal, Maturing, The Lyon County (Minnesota) Review Wine Rings, North Country Anvil, North American Mentor Magazine, the McLean County (Illinois) Poetry Review, River Bottom, Tower Talks and Foundations.
He has also authored several booklets in the mental health field, two of them co-authored with Ana Dvoredsky, M.D. in 2007.
George’s e-book ‘The Old Man & The Monkey’ poses one of the most elegant and powerful arguments against racism of all time, and his ‘Grandfather & The Raven’ argues equally compellingly against violence in all its forms.
How would you like to win 1 of 5 e-books or 1 of 5 hard copies for yourself?? George Polley has generously offered 10 of our readers a chance tour wide. Just enter on the Rafflecopter entry form below! If you have any questions or concerns please leave a comment. Good Luck and Thanks for entering.
Disclosure: This information was provided by the author as a part of Bewitching Book Tours. This is not a compensated post. Prizes are NOT fulfilled by KUWTR.