GROOVY GORILLA

“Hey, hey!” said Groovy Gorilla, snapping his Groovy Gorilla fingers to his own personal stone cold Groovy Gorilla beat. “How goes it, how goes it?”

Gladys the Elephant sighed. “I’m feeling bummed, Groovy Gorilla. Bummed is the feeling I’m feeling.” Gladys sighed again and drew little figure eights in the dirt with her trunk. She had sauntered over from her enclosure to Groovy Gorilla’s cage, as she was feeling so bummed, and needed a pep talk.

“Bummed is no good, Gladys, bummed is no good. Let Groovy Gorilla lay it on you.” He removed his shades and grabbed his bongos, tapping out a simple but snaky beat. Groovy Gorilla was the only animal in the Flourescent City Park Zoo allowed to wear shades or play percussive instruments. The sea lion had a ukulele, but that was it. “Tell me, tell me, Gladys Pachydermis, what is the cause of this bummed out feeling you are feeling?’

“Well, I’ll tell you,” Gladys the Elephant started, feeling better already. “The people coming to the zoo, you know. The zoo patrons?”

“The zoo comers, the new zoo comers, patrons of the animal kingdom,” Groovy Gorilla embellished.

“Yeah, them. They always seem to pity me, you know? They get excited when they see the Bengal Tiger or the Panda Bear, but they look at me, and they get this face, you know? Like, aw, the poor thing. I think they see my gargantuan figure and they take pity on me.”

“Pity full, and pitiful, the people filled with pity spread their pity your way. And that bums you out, because you want, you need, you aspire to the coolness of the Beat happening Bengal tiger or the perfectly poised Panda bear, no?”

“Right, right, exactly right,” Gladys the Elephant said. “I want to be cool, not sad. I want to be hip, not hypnotic. You know what I mean?”

“I feel you, I hear you, I see you, I got you. I totally got you, Gladys Not So Glad. And I think that I can solve your problem.” Groovy Gorilla stopped his bongo playing abruptly and removed his shades. “You have got to smile, sister. You have got to strut your stuff. Shake that trunk! Move those tusks! Blare and stomp and tromp and tromp! Give them a show, and they’ll give you their respect!”

Gladys the Elephant grinned. “You really think so, Groovy Gorilla?”

“I know so, Gladys Ever So Glad! Now, give your good friend Groovy Gorilla a little sneak preview of what you will be gracing our good zoo patrons with from this day forward. What do you say?”

Gladys grinned and stood up straight and tall. She lifted up her right front leg and raised her trunk, bellowing a marching beat. Then she stomped rhythmically, swinging her trunk back and forth as she belted out a tune worthy of John Philip Sousa. Groovy Gorilla grinned. “Yeah, that’s the spirit, that’s the stuff. Show them all what you’re made of, Gladys!”

“Thanks, I will!” Gladys the Elephant said as she marched back to eat some leaves.

“Hmm, another satisfied customer,” Groovy Gorilla said. He looked around his cage. It was quiet. “Hmm. Groovy Gorilla could sure use the pep talk of another Groovy Gorilla.” He found his beat up olive green blanket and curled up in the corner. After forty-five minutes, he fell asleep.

Morning came, and Groovy Gorilla awoke to the sound of a strange voice. It was loud, and a bit grating, like a kitten smiling through the pain of being sat on by a rhinoceros. “Hello, ape!” it said. “Hi there! Come see the sun! It is be you tea full!”

“Who’s there? Who’s there? Who has darkened the towels of Groovy Gorilla? Show yourself, and be hip, stranger.” Groovy Gorilla reached for his shades.

“Put those sunglasses away, you big hairy beastie! You have just got to got to got to see this sun! It is be you tea full!” Groovy Gorilla trained his not yet ready for the sunlight eyes on the source of the loud, grating voice. It was a colorful, bold parrot. Red and green feathers garishly clashed on her wings and her beak was a deep brown, like a chestnut tree. “Howdy you do there! You were still asleep, so I thought I would just fly my way over to your cage and make sure you don’t miss this sun!”

“I was just snoozing away the day, flying Hawaiian shirt. I’m more of a night owl kind of gorilla, you get my meaning?”

The parrot shook her head vigorously. “I have no idea. Night is for sleeping. Day is for soaking up the sun and singing and eating bugs and crackers!”

“Maybe for you, Squawky McGawky, but I don’t live in that fun time free for all. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m getting back to my log sawing.”

The parrot would not relent. “I don’t know who you are, Gloomy Gus, but my name is Clea. And the thing that people say about Clea is that she will not give up. So I can just perch here at your cage all day until you decide to wake up and see the be you tea full sun. So, the sooner you get up and see the be you tea full sun, the sooner I can get on with my day and the sooner you get back to your Gloomy Gus afternoon.”

Groovy Gorilla groaned. “Okay, okay, you’ve sparked my interest. Let me see that sun, once and for all.” He lifted up his head, stretched his long gorilla arms, snapped the knuckles of his gorilla toes, and rubbed the sleep from his gorilla eyes. Once he opened them fully, he could see the peach rays of the sun filtering through his cage bars. And he had to admit, it was be you tea full. “Thanks, thanks, for the heads up, Clea. You are one all right bird, you know that?”

Clea chuckled. “It was nothing, you just looked like you needed a friend.”

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