The Extortionist

Sam runs a big ticket extortion racket along with his other clan members. And the victims are usually tourists. Tourists who like to move around with all their valuables and useful things everywhere. In this SouthEast Asian country, Sam is king. The country has a lot of tourism attractions to attract tourists to explore the natural beauty as well as great ancient heritage places. No wonder the tourists flock to its shores.
But in the good old times, it was never like this. The tourists came then too, enjoyed their stay to the fullest, visiting the verdant sunny beaches, the beautiful eye catching temples and experiencing the rich culture of the island nation. And these tourists enjoyed feeding their simian cousins as an added attraction. For many years, it was a routine during the peak holiday season, year after year. Then things started changing.
The change of the millennium brought about many changes for the human species. Their lives became faster, their machines became smarter and they started hoarding all the planet resources for themselves. It became more and more apparent that, going by the pace at which humans were going, if the other species had to survive, they had to evolve much faster. And some of them did. You only have to look at the millions of cat videos on the net to realise that. When you watch them you get the feeling that they are the ones who have their hoomans at their beck and call, to feed them, to cuddle them, to make their beds, so on and so forth.
Sam and his clan have the extortion racket running successfully for a few years now. It all started when a teenage Sam picked up a bag and scooted off but not very far away. The woman, whose bag it was, realised what had happened and screamed loudly and cried out, “My bag, that scoundrel has run off with my bag.” Suddenly her son comes from nowhere, eating an ice cream. Being smart, he offers his ice cream to Sam, who is sitting at a distance. The ice cream is a big turn-on for Sam and he abandons the bag, which is quickly picked up from the surrounding crowd and given back to the woman. The woman has got back her bag and she is so happy. Sam has got his ice cream and he is very happy. But more than happy, his extra active young mind is working overtime. He has seen a tourist give him the most cherished goodies in exchange for a bag and that sets him thinking. He makes it a habit, in fact it becomes his addiction. Almost every day he picks on some vulnerable tourist, who is careless with his possessions, and pinches them from the tourists. Then he waits in anticipation for the next set of tasty goodies offered to him, which invariably are. He then goes on to train his clan members to help him in his daily shenanigans and before long he has set up a profitable venture.
Yes, the monkey groups in the state of Java, in Indonesia have become a handful for the many tourists flocking to that place. They extort food by taking possession of the tourists bags, cameras, mobiles, etc. , handing them back only after they have been offered the best food that the tourists can manage. And the racket has gained such gigantic proportions that they are now making news across the world. Like the humans developed agriculture across various parts of the world in the ancient past, Inspite of being separated by huge distances, the evolution of the world wide simians to pick up this pioneering trait of the Indonesian monkeys, is a big possibility.
Beware tourists!
Yatindra Tawde

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