Minky the monkey felt sad tonight; he had lost his precious tree house, which he had decorated with various kinds of seed shells and red leaves. This afternoon, there came some roaring iron monsters which pushed down lots of trees, including the one in which Minky’s tree house nested. Now he didn’t have a platform to rest on after playing around on the tops of trees– there were barely even any trees left. He felt like his tail had been wrenched by a cold trap and so his heart was bruised. When he thought about this, he touched his tail to make sure it was still there. However, although he could sooth his tail by caressing it, he didn’t know how to get rid of the strange, stifled feeling upon his chest.

“Maybe having a night walk will do me good,” he finally decided, so he crawled out from his temporary shelter under a pile of rocks to breathe some fresh air. The night wind brushed through his hair while he sped and bounded and bounced on the now barren land. Because the night was cloudy and moonless, Minky couldn’t see clearly, but he seemed not to be troubled at all; he’d known this place too well to bump or stumble on anything.

“Ouchhhh!” Minky cried out the next moment, lying awkwardly on the ground. A few yards from him was another moaning. Hissing with pain, Minky pulled himself up and approached what had just bumped him– or maybe he was the one who had bumped the other, hard to say!

“Are you alright?” Minky asked.

“Yeah……I think so,” the other sound said, also trying to get his feet back on the ground. “How about you? Are you hurt?” the stranger enquired, with a low voice sounding somehow familiar.

“I’m fine I think,” Minky answered. “Sorry, I guess I shouldn’t run so fast, especially on a dark night like this.”

“Indeed, tonight isn’t very bright,” the stranger agreed mildly. “You’re Minky, right? I heard about the tree house, and am sorry for your loss.”

“Right……thanks.”

“By tomorrow, everything will be alright, won’t it? Just look at the bright side even on a dark night, won’t you?” the stranger said while leaving. “I’m Leo, by the way.”

Looking in the direction where Leo the lion treaded away, Minky pondered, “Being comforted rather than eaten by a lion, maybe I’m actually quite lucky.”

 


 

Many years ago I asked a grammar question on the internet about the difference between the past tense and the past perfect tense, and received a series of wonderful replies. In short, the perfect tense is good for explaining background details, and the past simple tense is for illustrating what’s going on in the main story line.

It was among the replies I heard about the story of Minky the monkey and his lion friend Leo. What a wonderful tense example and wonderful names! So while writing my own monkey and lion story, I decided to use these two names to thank that kind and amazing story teller/helper. Thank you.

And thank Lee, my dear friend and English teacher, who had helped to correct my grammar errors.