_ _ Hundreds of monkeys are locked in a room. The leftovers are locked in an old lighthouse. Even so, there are still leftovers; these are put in a trunk and sent abroad.
_ _ And still there are leftovers. These are glued under the eaves of houses.
_ _ But they keep finding extras under tables and in hallway closets.
_ _It’s discovered that monkeys are leaking from their storage places; sometimes only a monkey’s paw cupping itself along on its fingers and heel, or running upright on its fingers through the fields; a monkey’s head that makes its way on its lips, balancing with its ears; sometimes just a monkey’s tail weaving through the grass, or along the rug…
_ _ Bits and pieces drip and squeeze from the storage places…A monkey’s ear flutters like half a moth in the grass; a finger curling and opening moves across the table like an inchworm; an eye rolls along the floor staring at everyone!
_ _ —And monkey-hair, everywhere! People wake up with monkey-hair in their mouths, in their hands—monkey-teeth in their food!
_ _ Oh how they wish they had never fooled with monkeys!
_ . . ._ And thus it is with those who fool with monkeys . . .
Russell Edson has books with Harper and Row, Wesleyan, and New Directions. (updated 1974)