The Animal Touch

Within an instructional context, and not directed at me personally, I recently heard the question “When was the last time you touched a monkey?”

Once I finished choking on my drink, I realized that in all my life, I have never touched a monkey. Seen plenty of them. In Ethiopia, in southeast Asia, but never made contact.

It also got me thinking, what have I touched, animal-wise? These days it’s all about us humans not being able to touch each other (as much as we’d like, and possibly overrated) but ever thought about our other co-habitants?

I’ve seen plenty of animals, in real life and on screen, and that had me bipedaling around assuming that I’d actually felt their life force under my hand.

What I have touched. Cats, dogs. That’s easy. Practically everyone has.

Also: sheep (furtively, as a child, prior to us buying them to eat), chickens (see previous), goats (I am assuming, since where sheep are goats do follow).

More interestingly: horses, ponies, elephants, turtles, tortoises, a pig or two, a falcon or eagle (some big wild bird, unless I only dreamed it), stingray (minus stings removed), spiders (if we’re counting post-mortem and through a tissue), slugs. Probably a rabbit (again this might only have been a dream). “Black spiky ball in ocean” (which internet IDed for me as sea urchin aka diadema antillarum). Ladybugs (I like to think that was mutual).

I also want to say I’ve touched a snake. For some reason I feel like I’ve touched a snake. Similar to falcon/eagle. I can’t remember when or where I’d have touched a snake. Seems like a natural thing for the mind to put into ‘this never happened’ folder. I know I’ve jumped over a snake.

I’ve been touched by spiders, cockroaches, mosquitoes, mice, lizards, flies, bees. Monkeys too.

Being a cat person, I would love to touch one of the big cats, alive. Any of them will do. Doesn’t matter, since it’ll probably end up being the last thing I do, alive.

Then there are those animals I’ve seen so often I feel like I’ve touched them. Squirrels, police horses, pigeons…

There are also animals I’m sure I’ve been touched by…but I’ll never know. 😳


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