Maurice and I

Insider trading and a life on the run. Off to the Redwoods. Their beauty always gave me comfort and a feeling of being close to nature. Years on Wall Street hardened me in many ways. A suitcase full of cash and a few clothes is all I have with me. I just ran. Not really thinking about the consequences or life ahead of me.

Sitting next to a tall, sturdy redwood, the cool breeze is gentle across my face. The forest is full of sounds and I feel I am being watched. The feeling is not eery, almost like a curiosity , like a change about to come about.

A red ape in the Redwoods? He gazes at me and I think I see him smile. He speaks to me in sign language which I had studied in college years ago. He is charming and gentle with his words. "You steal money and hide here?" I smile and try to explain insider trading. He shakes his head and tells me he is a circus ape.

There are other apes amongst the trees, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans swing through the trees as if freedom is a precious commodity. I watch in awe. Apes here in the woods! They are far from Africa and Borneo. They are far from the sanctuary they resided at. Like me,they escaped a world they could no longer tolerate.

Maurice and I chat often. The leader of the apes approaches me, cautious and a worried scowl across his face. The apes obey him, he is enjoying his freedom but he keeps a close eye on me. He appears distrustful of humans. Maurice reassures Caesar that I am okay. No need to fear this lone female who has now joined them. We share meals and watch the birds, foxes, raccoons and many other animals who also share this beautiful place.

I ask Maurice about the future. I can feel that the world is changing, although I can't explain why I feel this. He shrugs and says nothing. He is relaxed and offers me fresh berries. I dine with this red ape, who is now my close companion. Humans seem like they are a world away and for me they are. Maurice and I share a closeness of needing quiet and solace.

As time goes on, Caesar speaks to me. His voice is deep and articulate. He talks of ruling the world and I discuss this with Maurice. Maurice goes with the flow and says the apes are not smart enough to rule the world. I disagree and plan to help Caesar rule the world someday outside the forest. Maurice nods his head and offers me wild berries.