There once was a very well behaved monkey named George. He lived in the rainforests of Africa and enjoyed and loved his home very much. Every day, George would wake up to all the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells of the jungle. George was the youngest monkey in his family of seven – George lived with his two sisters, two brothers, and his parents. George was glad to live with both of his parents, because many of his friends lived with one parent half of the week and with the other parent the other half of the week. These friends were always going back and forth between homes, so George was not able to do fun activities with them whenever he wanted to; he had to wait until his friends were at the parent’s house that was near his house.
One day, George was having fun swinging from tree to tree, with his parents’ supervision, of course. Since he was a monkey and his parents were supervising him, this was a safe activity, but a human could get hurt doing this. After a little while of swinging through the trees, George was thirsty, so he decided to go inside his house to get a drink. As he was nearing his house, he suddenly felt trapped and couldn’t keep walking – he had been caught by some bad people who were trying to capture monkeys to sell to zoos in the United States.
The people took George back to their makeshift house, which was made of trees that they had illegally cut down, and put George in a cage. George wondered why he had been captured, and he immediately began to miss his family and friends. George became bored with his captors’ activities – they just seemed to do the same things over and over. First, his captors disappeared in a strange thing that made noise and went fast – you or I would know this as a jeep. Then, they left for a while and returned with a few more monkeys, which they put in cages like the one George was in. After seeing his captors go through this routine a few times, George decided to take a nap. Because George was tired from swinging through the trees, George slept very, very well – well enough not to notice the changes around him. (While George was asleep, without his realizing it, his captors had put him on an airplane along with all the other monkeys they had captured.)
George woke up a few hours later to a noisy sound. He didn’t see the jungle anymore and everything around him was dark – very dark. George was very scared now since he hadn’t seen his family for a long time and he didn’t know where he was. He didn’t realize that his captors were taking him to the United States. George could smell other monkeys around him, so he tried to speak in monkey language to them, but there was too much noise for the other monkeys to hear George or for him to hear them. George didn’t know what to do now. He was in a strange place and had no clue as to what was going on. He decided to go back to sleep and figure out what to do later.
A few hours later, George woke back up and found himself still in a cage, but he was in a different place. George didn’t know it, but he and all the other monkeys had just arrived in the United States. What he did know, though, was that this strange place was not like his home at all. There weren’t trees everywhere that George could swing through, the temperature was very different, and nothing smelled or sounded the same – everything was a lot noisier.
A couple hours later, George was taken to a large place in a noisy, fast moving thing (a truck), similar to the one his captors had used before. This large place was a zoo; George didn’t know that; he just knew it was some place with lots of bars, few trees and many animals. George was told that this was his new home. George was sad because he thought home was where his family was, back in the African Rainforests.
At the zoo, George had a large, fancy cage with lots of things to climb on, but it was not like his real home. There weren’t large trees to swing through, the weather wasn’t as warm and comfortable, and the food didn’t taste as good, but at least the other monkeys treated him well, just like at home. George’s life became a routine; it was the same every day. At home, no two days were alike for George, but at the zoo, George woke up at the same time every day and was fed at the same time each day. The fact that people gave him food and rather than getting his own food with his parents’ supervision was strange. And there was something else that was strange – people walked by his cage and looked at him, took pictures of him, and laughed at the different things he did. George had never seen so many people in his life. Despite all the attention the visitors and the caretakers at the zoo gave George, he quickly became homesick. He wished he’d never been taken away from his home.
The person who took care of George was nice to him and treated him very well. George named this person “The Person in the Yellow Hat” since this person wore a yellow hat every day. The Person in the Yellow Hat wondered where the zoo owner got George and all the other monkeys since they acted so much like wild monkeys. After talking to the zoo owner and investigating the situation, he discovered that the monkeys had been stolen from the African Rainforests. After The Person in the Yellow Hat and the zoo owner discussed the situation, they decided to return the monkeys to the rainforest. First, though, they would turn George’s captors into the government so they would be punished for illegally capturing the monkeys. After George’s captors were sent to prison for capturing the monkeys, The Person in the Yellow Hat and the zoo owner found out what part of the African Rainforest the monkeys had been captured from and returned the monkeys to their homes.
After George was returned to his home, he was reunited with his family, who had been very worried about what had happened to him; it had been a few months since they had seen him. George told them all about what had happened (in monkey language, of course), and their lives went on as they normally did.