Jonathan thought he was doing the right thing when he found a sick-looking tiny white monkey in his backyard.
His first instinct was to rescue it and bring it immediately to the local vet, but judging from the vet’s reaction, it was clear that Jonathan had made a lapse in judgment. But it was too late to do anything about it now; they had to deal with the consequences caused by the mysterious backyard creature.
Jonathan had been a certified animal lover for a long time. It was always his mission to rescue any animal that needed help. He was a nature lover, so he would often take walks in the woods, and there he would encounter an animal in need from time to time.
Jonathan had experience rescuing different kinds of animals – stray dogs and cats, birds, rodents, and he even rescued a wild boar once. With his experience, Jonathan could identify basic problems that a creature in need would have, and he was familiar with the vets around the city. He usually was confident in identifying animals, but in his latest rescue, he turned out to be wrong.
It started when Jonathan came back from his walk in the nearby woods. He heard a faint cry, like the cry of a puppy, when he entered his backyard. Then Jonathan spotted a little animal in a small bed of moss. It looked like a tiny newborn white monkey; its eyes were not fully opened yet.
Jonathan looked around for others like it, since they usually are born in bunches, but there was no other creature around. It was clear that its chances of survival out there with no mother to protect it were very small. Jonathan knew he could not leave this poor creature alone. It would be dark soon, and it looked like rain was coming, so he made a makeshift carrier out of the cover of his travel bag. He carefully put the baby animal inside and started to walk to his car.
Jonathan started thinking that it was not a monkey; the creature did not have any distinctive features yet because it was a newborn, so it was really hard to identify. The nearest vet was a half-hour’s drive away.
Jonathan hoped that the creature would still be okay until then. When he arrived at the clinic, Jonathan checked in at the front desk and proceeded to wait for his turn in the waiting room. Jonathan had shown the creature to the receptionist, and even the receptionist did not know what it was, but she assured him that he would be bumped up the list since the animal did look like it was in bad shape.
It only took a few minutes before his name was called. Jonathan presented the animal to the vet and narrated what happened. The vet listened, took down notes, and asked a few questions. Then he asked Jonathan to head back to the waiting room while he does some tests. A few minutes later, the vet came out with a very serious look on his face. Jonathan had never seen the vet look this way. The vet told him that it was a sugar glider. Jonathan was shocked; he would have never guessed that the animal he rescued was a sugar glider.
Then the vet said, “I know it’s not your fault, but it was a big mistake that you brought him here.” The vet explained that the young animal posed a great threat to the other animals in the clinic since it was infected with a virus that was not only contagious but fatal.
The vet had been studying this virus for the past weeks, as it had been reported in raccoons, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small mammals in the area. Jonathan was shocked at the thought of putting a lot of animals in danger.
They had isolated the sugar glider now, but as a safety precaution, they would both have to shower and change their clothes so they would not be spreading the virus to other animals. They had to test all the animals that were in the clinic to make sure that they did not catch it. The vet said he thinks he might be able to treat the infected sugar glider. Despite all the trouble, Jonathan had no regrets rescuing the sugar glider.
A few weeks later, the vet called Jonathan, asking him to drop by the clinic as soon as possible. When he arrived at the vet’s clinic, Jonathan was asked to wait in the waiting room. He started to think about the worst – did the sugar glider die? When his name was called, he was already sweating with worry.
The vet had a concerned look on his face, and when Jonathan sat down, he asked a surprising question: “Have you picked a name for the sugar glider?” The vet asked. Jonathan was taken aback; why would he name the sugar glider? After a brief moment, Jonathan said, “Monkey. I would like to name him Monkey.”
The vet then signaled to his assistant, and the assistant left the room. He came back with the sugar glider in hand. The vet told Jonathan that Monkey was now fully recovered from the virus. The vet was hoping that Jonathan would be willing to take Monkey home and take care of him. Jonathan was happy that the baby he rescued in the woods got to live. He never had experience caring for a sugar glider before, and he was not sure if he was the right person for the job, but there was no denying that he had developed a connection with Monkey, so he willingly took him in.
It did not take long for Monkey and Jonathan to become fast friends. They played a lot, and under Jonathan’s care, Monkey grew stronger and bigger. One day, Jonathan decided to play with him outside in the woods nearby. Monkey had climbed up a tree and never came back. Jonathan sat at the base of the tree for hours, hoping that Monkey would return. He did not really know what to do, so he just sat there. He felt sad that Monkey was gone, but deep inside, he knew that this day was bound to happen; a sugar glider needs to roam free, after all.
The next day, Jonathan brought Monkey out to the nearest tree in his backyard. Monkey climbed up the tree, and then he was gone. This time, Jonathan was able to say his goodbyes, and he knew he made the right decision.
That night, Jonathan went on his regular walk in the woods. When he went back home, he found a small surprise in the garden. It was Monkey, and it looked like he brought a friend with him – another sugar glider. The moment Jonathan opened his front door, the two immediately went inside, as if they had been waiting for him to come home all this time. Jonathan was overjoyed to see that Monkey chose to return to him, but he was also concerned about the new sugar glider. What if this new friend also had the same virus Monkey had?
Jonathan called up the vet and made an appointment for the next day. This time he was more cautious. He explained how he had set Monkey free, but he came back with another sugar glider. Jonathan shared how he was worried that this one might have the same virus Monkey had. The vet understood and gave instructions to let Jonathan in the back door so they wouldn’t pass through the other animals in the clinic just in case.
The next day, Jonathan brought the sugar gliders in as instructed. The vet checked on the other sugar glider, did some tests, and gave Jonathan the results – she was negative for the virus that had been going around lately. But before letting Jonathan go, the vet asked if he could run a few more tests, this time with Monkey. Jonathan was immediately concerned, but the vet just told him he was curious since Monkey and the new sugar glider had some things in common.
When the test results came back, it was confirmed: Monkey’s new friend was actually his sister. The vet and Jonathan could not believe it. Monkey was set free, returned to the woods, did a family reunion, and then brought his sister back to Jonathan. The vet patted Jonathan on the back; this must mean that he had been doing such a great job taking care of Monkey that he wanted his sister to have the same treatment.
Jonathan was overwhelmed. What a great way for Monkey to show his gratitude for the rescue. Jonathan took in Monkey’s sister, and they never left his side ever since.