2473. Endangered Zanzibar Red Colobus
© Bruce Goodman 6 July 2022

Westby was named after his grandfather, and because he was embarrassed about his name as a kid he withdrew into himself and became a bit of a loner. He had one quality however that was admired far and wide: he could draw the most fabulously realistic pictures. It was better than a camera; you would swear his pictures had come alive.

To help boost visitor numbers at the city zoo they commissioned Westby to paint jungle scenes on all walls of an enclosure. This enclosure was for the most popular creatures in the zoo: a pair of Zanzibar Red Colobus. These monkeys were colourful and quaint and endangered. With Westby’s realistic jungle scenes the Zanzibar Red Colobus were destined to become the most popular attraction at the zoo – if not the most popular attraction in the whole town.

Westby painted lions and tigers and elephants and giraffes and warthogs and hyenas and vultures and everything else African, including the shrubbery. In fact the animal paintings were so realistic that people began suggesting it would be a waste of time seeing the rest of the animals in the zoo. A quick visit to the Zanzibar Red Colobus and you’d seen the lot.

In one corner of the enclosure Westby had painted a pair of Zanzibar Red Colobus. They were the most realistic of all. They were phenomenal. The day arrived for returning the Zanzibar Red Colobus to their newly-painted enclosure.

At first they were a little stunned, and then they saw the painted pair of Zanzibar Red Colobus. They raced to them. They kissed them! They licked them! They tried to hug them! You could tell they recognized their own kind.

The next day they died of lead poisoning.

Contact Author
Back to Index
Next Story
Previous Story