The Rhesus Monkey is a funny story about a gang of criminal monkeys who went on the rampage in India, got arrested and were sentenced to life in prison. Believe it or not, everything in this story is true.
In a small village in India, there was a rhesus monkey who was named Number 13. He fell in with a bad crowd and joined a gang of monkeys. Number 13 was the ringleader of the criminal simians and everyone in the village was afraid of him and his cronies.
Together, the gang of monkeys went on the rampage, threatening young children with bricks, ripping people’s clothes and stealing fruit and vegetables. They went around biting people, tearing up lawns, breaking flowerpots and yanking the sheets off beds.
When the police came to arrest Number 13, they found him holding a stolen maths book and beating a calculator with his fist. Everyone agreed, he was one bad monkey and he was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
In the Hindu religion, monkeys are considered sacred and it is forbidden to kill a monkey. Instead, criminal monkeys are arrested and sent to a special monkey prison, 125 miles north of New Dehli, to live out their remaining years.
The monkeys are kept in a single cell, about 15 feet wide and 12 feet high, with bars, chain-link fencing and wire mesh. A sign in front reads: “These monkeys have been caught from various cities of Punjab. They are notorious. Going near them is dangerous.”
Ten rhesus monkeys are currently serving time in jail. One of the monkeys was arrested in 1996 for biting people in a vegetable market. Another monkey was locked up for stealing clothes and purses from women. One of the monkeys stalked a housing complex, stealing kids’ lunchboxes and pooping in the drinking water. Another monkey was arrested for slapping students in a girls’ school. Two monkeys were picked up outside the chief minister’s house, because they were loitering and clearly planning something.
There is no chance of parole for the monkeys, officials say. If any were released, there would be too much negative publicity, not to mention the possibility of mass hysteria.
Even though he is in jail, they say that Number 13 still misbehaves, often threatening to throw a bucket of cold water over the prison guards.