Write about a time you had an unexpected encounter
by Brian Tan (S2 2023)
“You rascal of a monkey, that’s what you get for stealing my backpack!” I hollered at the retreating monkey as I beamed with pride. What was intended to be a leisurely stroll had been completely turned upside down. Thank goodness it had all turned out well in the end.
I was strolling along the riverside with my family as the first rays of morning sunlight engulfed us in a warm embrace. A golden fiery ball rose high up in the sky and white fluffy clouds dotted the horizon. Greenery surrounded us as I felt a sense of warmth in my heart – it was excitement. This was because it had been a year and a half since we had last gone on a morning hike. The COVID-19 situation was to be blamed for this.
I took a breath of the crisp morning air as I thought about how great it was to finally escape my cramped house-prison and stretch my legs. My family and I had planned this nature walk to unwind and forget about our busy lives. Along the trail, we saw many exotic plants and interesting organisms. My favourite was when some fishes swam near the shore and splashed my curious sister with a face full of water. We then took a break to drink up. I placed my bag on the ground as I started to gulp down my water.
All of a sudden, a monkey ran out from the foliage and snatched my unprotected backpack. We were all in a daze as this happened in the blink of an eye. I was left dumbfounded as I looked helplessly at my backpack, now in the hands of a monkey a few feet away. We all stared at the monkey with caution and it stared back with a smirk on its face. It then started to shake my poor backpack upside down. Distracted by my backpack, my father started to move towards the monkey slowly, one hand out to grab my backpack while his other hand signalled for us to stay back.
Just when my father was about to rescue my backpack, he accidentally stepped on a twig and that was enough to startle the monkey. The monkey gripped onto my backpack more tightly and climbed up a nearby small tree. We chased after it but to no avail. The monkey stood proudly up in the small tree, mere inches away from our grasp. I started to furiously shake the tree as I was angry at that cheeky monkey for stealing my backpack. This did little to help the situation as the monkey grabbed onto my backpack more securely and refused to let it go. My father then snapped me out of my fury and calmed me down by giving some words of advice: “Rashness clouds one’s judgement, but if we approach the situation with a calm mind, the solution will present itself to us.” We then started to brainstorm different ways to get my backpack back, and while we did this, the monkey rummaged through my backpack, looking happily at what it had snatched. After a while, with a determined look on our faces, we attempted to take back my backpack. The first was by climbing the tree and the next was splashing the monkey with water. We tried it all but it was all in vain and after every failed attempt the monkey stood triumphantly over us.
Suddenly, my sister’s eyes started to shine as she shrieked, “Food! Everyone loves food! Why don’t we give it some, then snatch the bag when it comes down to get it.” We all thought it was an ingenious idea and it was quickly put to action. My father took out some bread and threw it on the ground. Then we hid, waiting anxiously for the monkey. After some time, the monkey finally came down and was luckily still holding onto my backpack. We all quickly pounced onto the poor creature and seized my backpack. It then frantically ran off as it wept over its loss.
What happened that day would be ingrained in our minds forever, and as I look back, it was truly an unexpected encounter.