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Primal Urging
by Ed Ahern

“He isn’t servicing her, Lisa.”

“Excuse me?”

“Andy. He’s not having sex with Charlotte.”

“Well, I guess I sympathize with Charlotte, but why is that bothering you so much?”

“They’re endangered, Lisa. Unless we breed them in captivity they’ll go extinct.”

She patted his hand. “Timmy, okay, you’re responsible for their care, but if Andy isn’t randy, how can that be your fault?”

He smiled ruefully at her, noticing again how her silver-gray hair resembled the fur color on his chimpanzees. “I’m not feeling guilty, just as inadequate as Andy must feel. That’s why I asked you to come to the zoo.  Maybe you’ll think of something I haven’t.”

Andy crouched in the far corner of the enclosure, well away from Charlotte. When he saw Lisa and Tim he shambled up toward them, staring at Lisa’s hair.

“He seems to like you as much as ever, Lisa, that’s as lively as he’s been in a week.”

Lisa smiled at Andy. “What about artificial insemination?”

“Good idea, but aside from the expense and electroshock trauma to Andy, we need him to be enthusiastic about inseminating all three of our female chimps on a regular basis.”

They stood in silence, then Tim gently took her arm. “Lisa I’ve got an idea that just might work.”

She brightened. “What? Can I help?”

“Promise me that you’ll hear me out?’

“Don’t I always?”

“We were really good together. It’s a damn shame we’re still not, but what if we give a benefit performance for Andy’s sake?”

Lisa giggled, then stopped herself. “That’s more than a little pervy.”

“No, really it’s not. I can see that Andy is still attracted to your hair color. What if we were to shoot a how-to video together. I could show it to Andy after hours until he gets the idea and does right by Charlotte and the girls.”

“I want to help, Timmy, but restarting that fire is probably a bad idea.”

“No, it isn’t. We’re good friends, what surprises could there be? Dinner and hotel, it would just be déjà nue, with a discreet camcorder. Personal desires aside, you’d be helping me out of a tough spot, and helping a species to survive. Just think about it, and I’ll call you tomorrow.”

She smiled warily at him. “I don’t know, Tim.”

“Please, we’ll talk again tomorrow.”


Tim walked Lisa to the front gate and helped her into an Uber. He walked slowly back to the chimp enclosure. Andy shuffled over to him on all fours.

Tim put his palm on the plexiglass and Andy put his spatulate fingers on the other side against Tim’s. “I’m really sorry to be doing this to you. With any luck I’ll take you off the meds in a week or two. But you won’t get to see the video.”