The vervet monkeys of Berg-en-Dal camp in the Kruger National Park owe us six bread rolls.
Gareth had put the plastic bag containing the rolls on the table and turned to light the braai fire, while I was sitting down reading my book. All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, a small bundle of grey fur was on the table next to me. The monkey chattered once, almost like it was asking permission, and I had just enough time to see its clever little black fingers wrap around the bag before it sprinted up into the tree with the kind of speed you’d rather associate with a cheetah than a small simian. The bag was open in a matter of seconds and all we could do was shout expletives and stare helplessly at the little thief sitting nonchalantly devouring our lunch.
Chaos ensued as we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by a troop of monkeys, chattering and fighting over the rolls. A monkey big enough to be the leader of the troop managed to wrench the bag from the long-fingered little robber and soon it was raining bread from the sky in a free-for-all grab and run monkey nirvana. One of the less fortunate ones even had the audacity to come up to me and stare at me with a pleading look, begging for its share! Needless to say, it got shooed away and Gareth was sent to the shops again to buy another bag of bread.
We kept a careful watch on the second bag, but by then the monkeys had had their fill and we managed to eat the rest of our lunch in peace.