Here it is -- the original "Story of Chunky Monkey,"
the epic saga of Chunky Monkey's escapades at the Progressive Zoo.

Story and illustrations by Pauline Comanor.

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Monkeys usually are quite spunky, but not the case with Chunky Monkey. He tipped the scale at one and twenty. And for a monkey that is plenty!

He lived in a progressive zoo, no strict rules on what to do. But still they taught the golden rule, and art and cooking in their school. No cages where they had to stay, and lots of games for them to play. They could move about without restraint, and shadow box, or nap or paint.

They did calisthenics to stay trim, to build their muscles, keep their vim! A popular place, the jacuzzi tub, made the zoo seem like a country club. The baby elephants did ceramics, the camels swung upon a hammock, reading books and magazines while drinking juice and eating beans.

The kangaroos all liked to box, then drink hot cocoa on the rocks. Between the rounds they would not fail to step upon the lion's tail. A cheetah known to all as "Pop" ran a charming soda shop. The brown bears worked with hoes and rakes, while a coati chef made chocolate cakes. They even learned to make souffles, and play guitars and mold with clay.

The pelican liked to fool the little fish down at his pool by singing country songs and soul and mixing it with rock and roll. Flamingos mostly had parades, while sipping on pink lemonades (to match their legs because they think no color is as nice as pink). Which filled the hippos full of scorn -- they liked charades and popping corn. And eating boxes by the score of corn they popped, and eating more, until their bulges were a bore (but bulges hippos quite adore). Since hippos always looked like that, no one called the hippos fat.

They never called each other names, and even played computer games. They rarely fought (well hardly ever), and all agreed they were quite clever. But no matter what the other's feat, all Chunky Monkey did was eat. He ate himself so out of shape, his former friends would point and gape. He ate bananas by the bunches, for breakfast, dinner and for lunches. And since he ate them by the dozens, that left none for his aunts or cousins (who then ate pomegranates and grapes, which they all cried were meant for apes). They sulked and said it was not fair, while Chunky shrugged and ate their share.

Finally he got so plump, he could not somersault or jump. He couldn't jog or do a jig, or play in the monkeys' softball league. By and large he ate the store of bananas, so the zoo bought more -- until the budget got all twisted, and purchases got checked and listed.

No one thought that the offender was Chunky Monkey, great pretender, who often hid in the rabbit's hutch, and said he really didn't eat much. Which made him feel quite weak and faint; he'd rather sit around and paint. But he painted scenes of soda fountains, pies a la mode and ice cream mountains. And when he ventured forth to stroll, he made the soda shoppe his goal. And sometimes he would stop and schmooze, with the two-toed sloth and long-necked goose.

But even the two-toed sloth did hate the thought that Chunky ate and ate. The sloth thought eating just a whim; they had to bring his meals to him. He told Jane Tigress, a terrible nag about being fit with no stomach sag. She took one look and growled "tch tch," and offered to share her diet dish. She signed Chunky up for her class at once, calling him a disgraceful dunce. She nagged and nagged and would repeat that Chunky should not always eat.
The Story of Chunky Monkey, page 2


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