Once in a vast savannah, there lived a tribe of monkeys. These monkeys were plentiful in their numbers, and were considered the kings of their habitat for their muscular frames, natural strength, and good health. The humans greatly respected them for this, as did the monkeys in return.
One day, a large, red bus came to the savannah. Tourists of all shapes and sizes hopped off to take pictures.
“Don’t worry, they won’t bite!” one of them said. The monkeys were intrigued by their oblivious faces and white skin. They had no idea what was going on. But they liked it.
The tourists began to hop back on the bus, all except for one man, fiddling with his backpack. After some struggling, he finally managed to get out his camera, only to look back and realise the bus was gone.
“HEY! HEY WHAT THE FU–” he yelled as he ran in the wrong direction. From his loose bag feel a rather peculiar object.
The object was sleek. Curvy at the edges. At the bottom of it’s surface lay a circular button that caught a monkey’s eye. He pressed it, and the object came to life. It glew, with a display of incongruent but incredibly alluring squares, all with lines of English text beneath them. “Candy Crush.” “Temple Run.”
But of course, the monkey couldn’t read. He pressed the screen randomly. The image of a plane appeared on the screen, appearing to fly towards him. The monkey tapped the plane, and a missile flew towards it and exploded. “1 point!” the object exclaimed. The monkey did it again. “2 points!” And again. “BOOM!” the plane exploded. “YOU WIN!”
The monkey had no idea what was going on.
But he liked it.
He brought it to his tribe, and they spent practically the entire day having fun with this alluring human possession.
After a straight week of usage, the monkeys woke up to continue playing, when they noticed the object was acting… different. No matter how many times they touched it’s screen, it was content to do nothing but display the image of an empty battery. The monkeys tried banging it against a tree, after which it’s screen turned black entirely. The monkeys were confused and furious. They sat to brood when they noticed a red bus heading their way. The same red bus from last week. And the people inside had the same white skin, and in their hands, the same peculiar objects.
The monkeys knew what they had to do.
That week, three tourists lost their phones. Then five. Then eight. The monkeys would use them until their screens went black or said “battery low,” after which they would they would head out to steal more. And soon every monkey wanted a phone. Not much later, the monkeys started stealing other fascinating human possessions as well. The snacks they packed on trips, the cameras, the mementos, anything inside the red bus.
That red bus had to steer clear of the monkeys entirely, but even then, they would be found. Desperation was nigh.
The Minister of Tourism kept quiet about the loads of complaints piling up on his desk, until one day, the red buses became empty.
“Pablo, come here,” the Minister said to the red bus driver.
“Is it true that the tourists don’t come anymore?”
“And is it true that the monkeys are the cause for this?”
“Yes señor. I was trying to tell you, last month, they stole my cellphone–”
The minister took a forest patrol and headed to the savannah. Pablo must be out of his mind, the minister thought. Why would a monkey be drawn to a phone? That’s– “Sir, we’re here.”
The minister got out of his car. And the monkeys he saw were anything but the ones he remembered from his childhood.
Now they were fat. Inflexible. Tired and disoriented from months of sleep deprivation. In their hands lay the same possessions the tourists had claimed stolen. The minister could not believe his eyes. The years of respect, admiration, and trust he had given them had all been reduced to nothing.
Disappointed, he hopped back into the van, and the patrol drove him home.