George ascended the tree enthusiastically as his so-called friends cheered him on from the ground. But it never failed; the distance that separated George's feet from the ground was why he wrapped himself around the tree branch in fear until help arrived. Every time his fear of heights causes him to fail while the other monkeys laugh at him. Just once George whispered, I want to be the one that isn't afraid as he rested his cheek against the branch in humiliation; and waited on his buddy, Louie, to help him down.
George didn't know that Louie heard his whisper and knew what he had to do. After helping George out of the tree, he bid his friend farewell and set out to put his plan in motion. Once George was out of sight, Louie climbed high in a tree full of sweet bananas in the middle of a snake den. The snakes piled high on the ground and the tree trunk's bottom part when the sun came out. Louie began screaming for help, but when the other monkeys came, they all were too afraid of the snakes to save their friend. Finally, one of the monkeys hollered for someone to get George, and the other monkeys laughed, knowing George could not climb.
When George arrived, the monkeys gathered, snickering, knowing George would fail again and be unable to save his friend, who sat helplessly high in the tree. George was frantic when he saw Louie trapped high in the tree, now practically covered in snakes. George asked each monkey as he passed through the crowd to help him, and one by one, they refused because of the snakes. Without hesitation, George made a path through the snakes and began removing them one by one from the tree trunk. When the snakes were no longer a threat, Louie climbed down the tree and scurried to safety while George ensured he was in no danger of a snake bite.
When the crowd settled after hugging their friend, Louie, all eyes fixed on George, who was holding a snake and treating it as if it were a pet. A small crowd gathered around George, and when he looked up, one of the monkeys with a throat full of fear apologized. George's eyes glazed over, and he strained not to let the tears loose. One by one, each monkey apologized and recognized that if it had not been for George, their friend Louie might not have made it out of the tree that day.
Years later, George remained in fear of climbing, as did the other monkeys of snakes. Still, together their strengths proved to be useful as George cleared a path to the tree for the other monkeys to climb and gather the sweetest of bananas while Louie kept his secret to himself.
Written & Photography by Shana Marie
Spotted Horse, Wyoming
April 29, 2023
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