The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

The Monkey's Hand: A Fable
by Christopher Haygood

While cleaning out his attic one afternoon, a man found a peculiar thing. Judging by the title of what you are reading, you probably already know that what he found was a monkey's hand, but I'll just go ahead and say: it was a monkey's hand. He took it downstairs to his wife.

"So, hey, honey?" he said. "I found this monkey's hand in the attic, and I was thinking about asking it to grant me some wishes."

"Sounds good," she replied.

"Be careful!" warned the man's mother-in-law, who had been sleeping over for the past three years. "Yes, it's true that the legends speak of monkey hands granting wishes--"

"What legends?" said the man.

"--but be forewarned: you might not be pleased with the outcome! Trust me on this."

The man thought about it. Then he held the monkey's hand up in the air and, ignoring his mother-in-law's advice entirely, said, "O magic monkey's hand, will you grant me a wish?"

The monkey's hand, engulfed in a dull blue glow, began extending and retracting its fingers, the long black fingernails squirming through the air, and it said in a deep, portentous voice, "Sure why not."

So the man said, "O magic monkey's hand ..."

"Richard is fine," said the hand.

"... O Richard ... For my first wish, I want a million dollars from an evil billionaire to magically vanish from his house and appear in ours, with no repercussions whatsoever except that I'm richer and he's poorer, which means that no one dies, no crimes are committed, no one is arrested or endangered or put into any situation where any type of unhappiness is brought upon them. Got it?"

"That's a very specific wish," said the monkey's hand. "It seems like I can't put a twist on that one that would make you regret your decision later."

"That's the plan," said the man.

"Good call. Here you go." A million dollars in crisp hundreds materialized in the middle of the living room. "What else?"

The man looked to his wife and his mother-in-law. He bent over to the monkey's hand and whispered for a long time.

"Alright," said the hand.

Five seconds later, the mother-in-law had disappeared and the man's wife had grown preposterously--even cartoonishly--large bosoms.

The man wiped a tear off his face. His life would be a happy one.

Moral: A little forethought can go a long way.