on monkey tails and boys

Yesterday, Clementine and I were talking about animals and tails. It all started innocently enough with my teasing her, as I often do, about how she came to live with us. I was recounting in graphic detail the day three years ago when Linette and I stole a tiny orphan monkey from the Toledo Zoo, brought it home, shaved it, chopped off its tail, and decided to teach it our language and raise it as our daughter. She responded, like she always does, with righteous indignation. “I am not a monkey… I am a human being,” she said confidently. That’s usually where our game ends. I say, “Of course you’re not a monkey, Sweetie,” and we go on about our business. Yesterday, though, she took the opportunity to start asking me about the differences between human beings and monkeys. We talked about thumbs, fur, cranial capacity, and teeth. And, at some point, the conversation turned to tails… And it was at that point that I learned something quite shocking – my daughter thought boys had tails, like monkeys. “They have tails. They pee out of them.” She was adamant about it… And that’s when Linette, Clementine and I sat down and had the first of what I’m sure will be several conversations about male anatomy.

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  1. mark
    Posted January 20, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I guess it’s fate. Two minutes after leaving this post, while jumping around the internet randomly, I happened across this.

  2. Posted January 20, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    At some point, you should tell her that it takes more than just a shave and a tail-ectomy to turn a monkey into a little girl. There’s also some hormone therapy involved…

  3. Meta
    Posted January 21, 2008 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    See also vestigial tails:


  4. egpenet
    Posted January 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Chasing tail takes on a whole new dimension.

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