Summer of the Monkeys
The last thing a fourteen-year-old boy expects to find along an old Ozark river bottom is a tree full of monkeys. Jay Berry Lee's grandpa had an explanation, of course--as he did for most things. The monkeys had escaped from a traveling circus, and there was a handsome reward in store for anyone who could catch them. Grandpa said there wasn't any animal that couldn't be caught somehow, and Jay Berry started out believing him . . .
But by the end of the "summer of the monkeys," Jay Berry Lee had learned a lot more than he ever bargained for--and not just about monkeys. He learned about faith, and wishes coming true, and knowing what it is you really want. He even learned a little about growing up . . .
This novel, set in rural Oklahoma around the turn of the century, is a heart-warming family story--full of rich detail and delightful characters--about a time and place when miracles were really the simplest of things...
and then every one of them started dropping down from the sycamore tree. This was the last thing in the world I expected the monkeys to do, and I didn’t like what was happening at all. I started backing up, one step at a time. “Holy smokes, Rowdy,” I said, “they’re coming after us. I didn’t think they’d do that, did you?” By the time the big monkey had reached the last limb on the sycamore tree, I had a pretty good head start on him. He stopped there for a second, opened his big mouth, and
that crazy old hog? He must think I’m a bear or something.” Grumbling to myself about how scary hogs were, I walked on a little way, stopped, and started calling again. “Come on, Jimbo! I’m over here! Come on now!” Rowdy couldn’t understand what was going on. He knew that I was calling something, but I wasn’t using his name, and he was all mixed up. On hearing him whimper, I looked behind me and saw him sitting on his rear in the game trail, with his ears standing straight up, looking at me
location of a whiskey still. The moonshiners didn’t like it at all. I always figured that I had enough trouble of my own, and didn’t care to have a bunch of moonshiners chasing me all over the country. I was standing there, sniffing the air to locate the direction of the whiskey still so I could stay away from it, when I heard that Jimbo monkey let out a loud squall. Then I heard the little monkeys screeching and chattering, and making all kinds of racket. “Listen to that, Rowdy,” I said.
know Rowdy would.” About halfway through the bottoms, the road made a sharp left turn. Just as we made the turn, a big old mama coon with three little babies waddled across the road. This was too much for Rowdy. He just simply couldn’t stand it any longer. Letting out a bellow that all but busted my eardrums and came close to scaring the mares out of their harness, he leaped down from the buckboard and took off after the coons. I stood up in the buckboard and yelled as loud as I could, “Rowdy,
closed my eyes and gritted my teeth as I reached back under the bank and got hold of a monkey. I just knew that some needle-sharp teeth would sink into my hand, but nothing happened. The monkeys must have been too cold and stiff. There was no bite left in them. Jimbo watched every move I made, but he made no effort to jump on me. He seemed to realize that I was trying to help his little friends. Five times I reached under the bank and pulled out a little monkey. They were in worse shape than I