The kinkajou is offended because Aristotle did not know anything about him!

Dear Aristotle,

I am surprised that you are ignorant about animals that exist in the Americas. I thought you were an erudite donkey!

I am not a fruit; a kinkajou is not a fruit. Like the Orang-utan and many others who have written to you, I too am an endangered animal. I am hunted for my fur. My habitat is disappearing before my eyes. What is more upsetting are the howler monkeys who share a tree canopy with me. How noisy, ignorant and crass can they be?

Why should today be different just because I wished it to be?

I crawled into my tree hollow high up in the rainforest that is infested with jaguars and howler monkeys. It was almost daybreak. I wrapped my lovely honey-brown fur tail around myself. Pity, people hunt me for my soft fur!

I covered my large, beautiful eyes with my front paws. It was time to sleep. Just as I dozed off, the black howler monkeys started their morning howls in unison. I couldn’t sleep!

I was frustrated; I was stressed.

May I sleep

“Stop it guys! You are the loudest animals on this planet! My nerves are on edge. I am unable to sleep for yet another reason. I worry about our future in this forest. Every now and again, I hear a tree crash to the ground. The blue sky keeps growing bigger by the day. We are losing our home.”

Do these noisy pests understand the situation? I doubt it. All day long, they sit around in the top canopy and feed on leaves. They do nothing but eat and rest. And HOWL.

Stop that racket!

Hey, before I lose my mind and start believing I am a fruit, let me jot down a little about myself.

I am a kinkajou. You say it as ki ngka joo. People sometimes call me the honey bear. I am related to the racoon family. The red panda or firefox is my cousin. How do I look? Beautiful! I have a round head, small ears, honey-coloured fur and a soft, lush tail that is as long as my body is — about two ft. I feed on fruits, small tree mammals and birds’ eggs. I share the canopy with those dung-smearing primates. How can I wrap my lovely tail around tree branches that are dirty? I need to hang upside down by my tail in order to eat fruits without spilling a drop of its precious juice.

Some animals have no consideration for others. I want you to know something else about me. I can turn my feet a full 180°. I can walk forward and backwards!

Please, howlers, stop this ritual!

Please, please. . . I need to sleep.


Reply from Aristotle

I am sorry about that. I always thought that I have learnt all that there is to learn.