, , , , ,

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mama called the doctor and the doctor said:

“No more monkeys jumpin’ on the bed!”

(The rhyme refrains with one less monkey jumpin’ each round, until there are none.)


You may be thinking this is a story about a mama monkey and her four monkey babies in a fantasy world where monkey people talk and live in houses with beds like human folk.

But is that what’s really going on?

Mama is never called a monkey.  Nor is the doctor.  Mama and doctor are able to speak and use telephones – their behavior is very human.  But the little monkeys?  They jump up and down with no apparent signs of intelligence, or even enjoyment, as one after another falls off of the bed and becomes incapacitated.

Though Mama is evidently concerned enough for each little monkey’s head wound to seek medical attention, the simians exhibit neither empathy nor concern.  They are as insensible to the pain of others as they are to their personal peril.

They do not play; they seem unable to stop or even to consider stopping.  They are rather engaged in a hopping frenzy of such violence that, by song’s end, every little monkey is put out of commission.  The human woman we invoke is inexplicably in possession of a brood of creatures who have, to judge by their behavior, too little intelligence and too much raw energy to be fully human or ape.

And yet, she is their Mama.

This brings us to the Doctor.  Mama seems to have access to a private line – she calls the doc, not the hospital or the doctor’s office, and he or she answers directly.  She speaks to the same person each time she calls – The Doctor, not A Doctor.  So, it seems Mama has quite a close connection with this physician.  All the more astounding, then, is the doctor’s relentless reply – “No more monkeys jumpin’ on the bed.”

It may not be fair to surmise from the missing ‘g’ on the end of the word ‘jumping’ that the Doctor acquired his or her credentials at an academic institution of lax standards.  We can certainly argue, however, that the Doctor’s advice lacks all the hallmarks of a traditional medical exam.  There is no question of size, color, or shape of any wounds sustained.  There is no mention of breathing or heart-rate, no concern that the monkeys are responding normally to stimuli or are even conscious.  There is no attempt to schedule a follow-up exam.  The Doctor, in short, seems not at all intent on helping these little monkeys.

This, despite the over-involvement indicated by Mama’s having a private line and her compulsive tendency to call after each little monkey’s fall, regardless of the helpfulness of her doc’s advice.  We can only logically conclude that this unorthodox, overly-involved medical expert made use of Mama’s generous womb to incubate a bestial concoction of human design.

Had the monkey-men developed as intended, with the minds of men and the athletic prowess of apes, the next stage of human evolution might have been bolstered by its last.  Unfortunately, they burst from the woman’s uterus in a hopping frenzy beyond anyone’s control.   As is often the case with genetic mutations, their skulls were too thin to sustain the impact of a fall – they succumbed, one after the next, to certain doom.  Their shamed creator’s merciless mantra came, at last, to chilling fruition:

“No more monkeys jumpin’ on the bed.”