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Season 2, Episode 8 · 3 years ago

Episode 205 - Little Prisoner

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Here you are. It's the s New York City. A married couple stands arguing in a messy central Park West Department, overlooking the Lush Greens below. The floor of the apartment is littered with scraps of fabric, although it's unclear if this came from the ruined furniture or the torn clothing. Old newspapers, books, journals and taxtrmy supplies overflowed tables and shelves, eventually spilling onto the floor. We want to build with our lives. No caged animal or stuffed museum specimen with its distorted bodies and horrid glass eyes can tell us the fascinating life histories of the wild free creatures. In another room, cowering in a corner, sits the clear culprit, a hazelied gray monkey, holding onto a stuffed monkey toy. It sits there terrified, thousands of miles from its home and is forced to punder how it got there. Welcome to here you are, ...

...episode four, little prisoner. I'm your host, Rose Peck. I don't have to Labor the point that animals in their study is a major focus of taxidermy. The jungles of Africa were at the time, a strange and foreign place to Americans, and you would only through glass museum cases and dry placard descriptions. The Americans of the twenty century came onto those lands trying their best understand what they found, using the tools that their society provided for them. Well, many tried to conserve the natural world by putting it on display. Some found a much more sympathetic view, seeing animals as something which must be cared for. Out of those jungles of Africa we see an American woman hiking through the thick underbrush. Delia Aque, more commonly known by her nickname Mickey, was an explorer, conservationalist and imperialist. She's a deep lover of nature and read passionately about its preservation. Their stories of adventure are numerous and...

...varied, from hunting wild elephants for the field museum to writing books and journals to learning the language of the baboon. Mickey took a great many trips to Africa, where she grew in appreciation and fascination with the people and animals that live there. But most of all, she held a great love for monkeys. Our strenuous day again, when the big bends of the force. The collobis monkeys voice their greetings to the dawn and ended when the citizens of the tree tops sounded their curfew for all their kind to go to bed. She found them wonderful and charming creatures, fascinated by their studiousness and intelligence. The popular conception of monkeys seems to be that all of them are unclean and have offensive habits. This is a false natural history which animals kept in confinement teach. The personal habits of wild monkeys are clean and wholesome, and much of their time is spent grooming one another, picking from the fur each tiny particle of dust. She had her porters capture one and bring it back to camp,...

...hoping to demonstrate that it was clean and well kept. While she intended to set it free, she quickly bonded with the creature and decided to bring her along for the expedition. The captured monkey, a female Vervet, was named J T junior after John T mccutchen, a famous political cartoonist of the era and at the time a member of the ACLES expeditioning party. Mickey was joined on her jungle vacations by her husband car likely other explorers and hunters and a team of over eighty natives working as porters, who are tasked with packing and moving the camp, gathering and preparing food, keeping hunting weapons stocked and ready and guarding the camp at night. But this wasn't the first journey that Mickey took with Carl. Mickey and Carl first met in Milwaukee. They immediately fell in love, bonding over their mutual love of taxidermy. At the time, Carl was working for the Field Museum of Natural History as taxidermist in chief. Neither of them were well known in the field to taxidermy until the release of the four seasons of Virginia Deer Dioramas, which they worked on together.

Having made a name for themselves, the field commissioned Carl to do an elephant display. In one thousand nine hundred and six, Mickey and Carl Journey to Africa to collect their specimens. They spent weeks track and stalking these creatures, attempting to sneak up on one. They traveled great distances with their porters until finally they found not one but two elephants. They each decide to kill one elephant and fire at the same time so as not to Spook the other away. They cautiously approached from a good vantage, took aim and fired. When the smoke cleared, the couple investigated their kills. Mickey beamed with pride. This was not only her first elephant kill, but it was also larger than the one her husband had shot. Carl, having shot the smaller elephant, was less pleased. He asked Mickey if she would be willing to trade, but she refused. This was her elephant and she wasn't just going to give it to her husband to appease his desires. Back in his tax a drmy studio, Carl, determined that he would not look inferior, stretched the pelt...

...of his elephant to fit a larger frame than the original animal. In the end, Carl's elephant almost didn't look smaller. These two beasts are still on display in the main hall of the Field Museum. While they are a magnificent sight to behold, a closer inspection of the two elephants reveals that the skin of the smaller elephant, Carl's elephant is cracking in several places, appearing much more dry and weathered, despite both having been killed and posed at the same time in the show notes of this episode, you'll find pictures of these two elephants to see for yourself. Shortly after this ordeal, the acles went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where they continued to go on expeditions with each other. It was in one of these later expositions that they captured J t. When j t joined the expedition, a new porter was hired, Ali, a nine year old Swahili boy who became J t's personal attendant and Valet for the price of one dollar a day. Every morning, Ali appeared at the door of my tent with Jay t's breakfast. His round, happy, chocolate Brown face shown from a compulsory application of soap.

It was a joy to see his lovely white teeth flash when he smiled and his big black eyes melt with childish delight under Jay t's royal welcome. Ali was always sure of the welcome and j t of the smile. For my two little half wild companions had ideal morning dispositions. Another such servant of the Akleis was bill, after running away from his home among the Cakuyu, a Kenyan ethnic group, in Chase of another expeditioner's caravan. At the age of nine, Bill became a member of the Akley's team. Mickey taught him English, along with the ways of a tent boy and tracker. In her writings, Mickey would describe bill as a thoroughbred and of his relationship with J t, once again chose the phrase half wild companions. The porters worked day in and day out to support Mickey's jungle escapades, but seldom did she offer her appreciation for any of them, except her monkey's personal caretakers. J T's cheerfulness was a wonderful example to the whole camp and I employed it to advantage when our porters, complaining of some imaginary illness in order to shirk their work,...

...came to me for medicine. The monkey and the porters often suffered with colds, but jat endured her suffering more pluckily than the men. She would play about the tent until too exhausted to play another moment and then climb up on my lap and, like a tired child, falseleep while I was reading. She writes of her monkey as a superior specimen, able to trug off disease before curling into her lap of her human companions. She writes less fondly I'd now, but in Africa, nearly two years hunting elephants without rest or spite the long, anxious strain of nursing Mr Akeley through various periods of illness, combined with the heavy responsibilities which had fallen upon me during his helplessness, for no other white person was with us, had stopped my strength and nerve force without my being aware of it. What about jt allowed her to garner so much sympathy from her captors? We in the twenty one century may point to the difference in intellect between the human and the animal, saying that this is the line that divides us, makes us civil. We expect more of the humans in our lives. But suppose that we viewed people on the same level...

...as we viewed the animals around us, would we still pamper our animal companions, bringing them breakfast on a pillow while berating our fellow citizen? Mickey believed deeply in conservation of all creatures, carefully observing as many as she could and writing down which she found conservation through preservation. She wrote at length about the native peoples that she encountered often living among them and taking part in their customs. She wrote about the natives with the same sense of preservationist obligation that she wrote about the animals with. They honestly pity the poor savage creatures who live free, unrestricted lives out in the forest and on the sun kissed planes, as neighbors to the birds and wild animals. They wish to raise their status by education, hygiene and cotton suits, and by training them to be subservient to a white man's wishes and desires. Once, while traveling down a river, Mickey observed a native woman advertising a shop on the shore. She was...

...sweltering in the African Sun, sweat streaking the white makeup covering her face. She wore a pink frock and yellow heels holding a child's Pink Parasol, all of which were clearly too small for her. At this site, Mickey's white male companions rushed over, hooting and hollering, occasionally making vulgar comments in her native tongue. To me, the Dark Lady of the river bank was a symbol. She was living representation of what happens when we try to improve savage life. A rouged American flapper dancing. The Charleston is another symbol. She is the result of imitating that life. Either effort is unnatural, pathetic and impossible for civilized man. Well, Mickey wrote of how it was terrible to try to improve these people. She did have a soft spot for the women of these tribes. She would observe men beating or abusing their wives and originally attempted to intervene. I would stand it as long as I could with covered ears, and then, in despery, can interfere. Once I went so far as to have an offending husband ducked in the river by my boys.

However, even the sentiment was lost from her as time went on. After dunking the husband in the river and the wife came by the next day demanding cotton. She desired compensation for the harm under her spouse. Eventually, Delia stopped trying to help all together. The minds of both men and women in most of these tribes are far too simple to admit any concept of wrong or even ill treatment. They react almost instantly like animals, from fury to terror and then dissolve and peals of happy laughter. They are filled with a simple, free joy. That is the hardest motion for us to understand or feel. Mckey was filled with a complex, almost contradictory view. While she felt great empathy for the women around her, she always viewed them with fascination, as you review any other animal specimen. There were a primitive forid other, even when traveling there in person, deally of your nature through the invisible lends that she was raised with. Ultimately, we all view nature through glass cases,...

...for there is no other way for us to view it. Time Moron and eventually the akleys expedition came to a close. They took their Special Simmons and their footage and headed back to their apartment in New York. Well, Mickey knew how poorly monkeys fared away from their forest homes, without space, sunlight and stimulation. She couldn't bring herself to part with her precious JT Jr. So the monkey accompanied the acles back to New York City. This went about as poorly as it could have. One afternoon, Jat was sitting on the window so of their apartment, overlooking the city, when suddenly a stampede of cows and policemen came running through the streets. The cows had escaped from an upturned transportation wagon and the policemen were firing off their weapons trying to keep everything under control. After the ordeal, Mickey called the doctor, suggesting that...

Jayt had hysteria. Hysteria a diagnosis given by male doctors to women at the time who were experiencing basically any form of mental disorder or problem. An African monkey in a strange and foreign domestic environment, given the labels of a twenty century American Society, unable to adjust a city life, JT caused trouble at every turn, destroying the clothes and furnishings of the Aqleis apartment time and time again, Mickey refused to punish jat or her monkey companion patty, for anything, being sympathetic to the city bound monkey's plights. Carl was not so kind. JT's presence in New York drove a wedge into their marriage, Driving Carl to spend more and more time in his work study and Driving Nicky to become a social recluse, obsessively studying her beloved household primates. Caring for the monkey was a beginning to wear on Mickey. After a particularly long day, jt wrapped her arms around Mickey's leg, a signal that jt wanted a ride.

Mickey, in no mood to play, refused. Go to bet GT, I can't play with you now. This began the end of JT's story. After being refused her mother's attention, JT bit Mickey in the Heel, a bite that nearly severed her tendon. The bite swelled up with infection, an infection that almost killed her. Then, some weeks later, jt did it again, then again, nearly puncturing a vein in Mickey's arm. With that, Mickey gave in to Carl's demands and JT was given to the Rock Creek Parked Zoo in Washington DC. As expected, jt grew sickly, restless and miserable in the zoo. She shared her cramped cage with another verbd monkey, a brutish, domineering male who was cruel, often stealing Jat's food, taking attention from her and even attacking her. I will confess I felt like killing him when he was attacking jt. But after all, why do we expect...

...the lower animals to be kinder than human beings are to one another? Seldom do we hear of anyone rushing in and killing a brood of a man for beating his wife or helpless children. He is not even ostracized from some society. And yet we sometimes condemned captive animals to death for doing what many bad tempered human beings have done. Jt died in captivity shortly after. Well, Mickey wept over her loss. She remarked, thank God a little. Prisoners Free at last. Here you are is a podcast created by students at the University of Rochester. This episode was hosted by Rose Peck and produced by Rose Peck and Harrison Kern. Our engineer was Alexis Ava. Michelle fieklauo was the voice of Delia. Aquely, for the full list of music and sound credits, see the show notes. The coordinating producers for this season of here you...

...are are a mile apart, and the Lucios executive producers are Thomas Glashan and Steven Rustler. Here you are is made possible by the teaching innovation grant at the University of Rochester, and be sure to check out the other episodes of here you are season two. Nature reconstructed at here you arecom thanks for listening.

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