Story: Monty Falls Down a Well

One day Monty fell down a well. He was swinging along the trees at the side of a road at night, not looking where he was going, just enjoying the cool breeze at the end of a hot day. He stopped by a field, where he thought he saw something glinting, something silver caught by light of the moon. He dropped to the ground, and walked over to have a look and found a small silver pendant. Picking up the beautiful pendant and admiring it as much as was possible in the light of the moon, he took a step back and the earth gave way under his feet. With a yelp he fell.

Ten feet down he fell, and lay in the blackness, bruised but not seriously harmed. Luckily it was an empty well, as or else he could have drowned. Nevertheless his pulse had quickened and his heart was beating fast. In complete darkness now, he began to panic, screeching and hitting out. He desperately tried to clamber out of the well to no avail, his fingers caked with mud as he dug at the moss which had grown in the inside of the well. Finally he gave in, mentally and physically drained, battered and bruised, lost and confused. Hopelessness overcame him, and he let his head sink and his mind go blank.

After a few moments a strange sense of calm came over him. Here in the darkness his thoughts seemed more vivid and real, easier to comprehend. Accepting that for now he was trapped, he let his mind drift.

In no particular direction they wandered taking him through the day, through his life, through all the dreams he had ever had, his successes and failures, the other teddies he had been close to and lost, and those who had stayed with him throughout his life. Free of all the pressures and distractions of the world around him, he was able to examine things in a greater detail than ever before. It seemed that only he existed, and that the world he had previously been a part of was now separate from him, like a stranger glancing into a family’s home as they told jokes over dinner. A kind of lonely feeling, but also a kind of independent, strong and hopeful feeling, the feeling a monkey gets when he hasn’t yet found the bananas he so desperately needs, but as he swings through the trees he feels he’s on the right path to finding them. He didn’t know. He couldn’t really explain it.

Finally he drifted off to sleep, waking up feeling tired and cramped. Giving a big yawn and stretching his arms, then scratching himself under the armpits as monkeys like to do, he looked around and realised with a sudden jolt that sunlight was now streaming in. He saw that the well was covered with little purple flowers which had grown in the moss. He picked one of these and smelt it, allowing the sweet scent do tickle his nostrils. Then he looked down and realised the pendant was at his feet, caked in mud. He cleaned it and saw that in the light it was beautiful, and had strange markings etched into it. Looking closer he realised that it was a name. He wondered who she was and why she’d left her pendant there.

Getting up, he examined the walls and realised that there were a number of handholds. With monkey like agility he climbed up, and found himself once again in the green field. The grass was shiny with dew, sparkling in the sunshine. Hearing a neighing, he turned round to see two horses grazing in the field. They were eyeing him suspiciously, snorting tossing their manes. They were very beautiful, one white and one black, with long manes and soft fur. Staying very still to show he meant no harm, Monty cautiously knelt down and grabbed a handful of grass. He approached the horses slowly. They whinnied and took a step back. He slowed down and stopped when he was a meter away. Then he knelt down and waited.
Slowly the first horse approached. Drawn by curiosity the second horse followed. One by one they nibbled at the grass in Monty’s hand. As they munched Monty rose careful to make no sudden movements. The horses glanced at him nervously but didn’t move. Only when Monty moved out his arm did the horse run back in fright, whinnying and stamping their feet.
“I’m not going to hurt you” Monty said, taking a step forward. The horses whinnied again. “I’m not going to hurt you.” Monkey’s voices usually come out quite high and screechy, but Monty spoke with a mellow soothing voice peculiar to his kind. This relaxed the horses, and when he slowly approached them this time they did not move. With slight stiffening they allowed him to touch them, relaxing as his soft fingers stroked their beautiful manes. Then one of the horses nudged him, and began to fish for snacks in Monty’s pocket. Laughing as its breath tickled him, Monty gently batted the horse’s muzzle away. Feeling more light-hearted and cheerful than he had in a long time, Monty scampered away, stopping to wave at the horses as he reached the edge of the field. Then he took to the trees which outlined the edge of the avenue, and swung down the road effortlessly. Whistling a song his mum used to sing to him when he was a baby monkey, he looked again at the pendant in his pocket and decided to try and find the girl who had owned it, and return it to her.

The horses gazed after him, wondering at the monkey that fed and stroked other animals, where monkeys are usually frightened and hostile towards other creatures, trying to keep anyone else off their turf by any means necessary. But Monty is no ordinary monkey.