Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Saimiri sciureus: he's not common at all

This blog entry has nothing to do with Poetry.  Or Shoes. Or anything glittery.  Or Shakespeare.  Or even Cake. 
(but watch me squeeze Douglas Adams in later)

This is about Squirrel Monkeys. Or one particular squirrel monkey, which is not merely endangered but would appear to be beyond extinct. It is so rare that no photograph of it exists... within the realms of Google, anyway.

Arthur was a Zoological Society of London-branded mini plush squirrel monkey. Arthur belonged to my son, and they were best mates for half a lifetime - that's four years.

The Google search yielded only second-rate Arthurs
Here are some squirrel monkeys. Arthur doesn't look like any of these - not quite. They're all wrong. I cannot show you what Arthur actually looks like, because Arthur has been missing for nearly a year.  I wouldn't bother you with a story which must seem so footling, but tonight my son found this (below) on his bookshelf.  Arthur wasn't lost, back then: it's a birthday invitation from two years ago, featuring another squirrel monkey - which isn't Arthur either - but it makes us think of him.    
This makes us sad
So, tonight, he held the invitation in his hand for a while; then turned it over and, laying it aside, said, "I'm not ready to look at that yet."  

I bought him another squirrel monkey a few months ago.  It wasn't the same.  The ears are wrong.  And the paws.  He's fond of it; but, but, but. Arthur is his Douglas Adams, I conclude: my son is still mourning the loss of someone he wasn't ready to lose. Admittedly, Douglas Adams didn't sit on my pillow or ride in my shopping trolley, but it's the same thing. I'd barely begun to appreciate him, then he'd gone.  And the Zoological Society of London doesn't provide a replacement service. 
That's a spider monkey. Not the same thing
These are what Arthur should look like.  The style, anyway.  That is a spider monkey, which is just wrong.  I can buy one of these, or any of about nine other creatures instead, from the gift shop at London Zoo. No: no good.

I'm blogging this because I have looked at no fewer than 2,087 pictures of plush simians tonight, looking for a new Arthur. I should learn to let go, I suppose.  After all, this will not be my boy's last hurt that Mummy cannot make better. 

Have you seen Arthur? He has a crumpled little face and fits in the palm of your hand. Let us know. We miss him.


  1. Hi Muriel. This is a sad tale indeed. A boy should never be separated from his monkey. Does Arthur look like this? http://www.zsl.org/shop/zsl-mini-soft-toys/zsl-mini-squirrel-monkey/

    It looks like they are out of stock on the ZLS website, but you could always contact ZLS's retail department at retail@zsl.org and ask who their supplier is, and then contact them to find your nearest retailer... I hope you find Arthur, or another Arthur. I do like a happy ending.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and understanding, Scumblebee. And bravo on the search - Arthur did look like that: only cuter, I must say, his nose was nicer than the little fella in the picture. I will try ZSL again as you suggest, though. Arthur must be out there somewhere! Best wishes, Mu xx