Benedict Allen: Mono the Monkey

Benedict Allen once encountered a group of friendly Matses Indians while trekking through the Amazon. "My mate on the trip was a spider monkey named Mono," he recalled. "He sat on my shoulder. So I said to these people, because I hadn't eaten for ages, Is there any chance -- and this is in sign language -- of getting something? Could you rustle up something to eat? I'm hungry, so I was pointing to my stomach. I said, Food, for me and Mono, my monkey. I pointed at Mono the monkey. Time went by and Mono disappeared.

"Eventually I smelled this delicious smell coming from the huts. I thought, Mono would like a little bit of this. And this wooden platter was brought out, and there was Mono sitting on the platter, fully cooked.

"It was a sad day. For Mono especially. And it was sad for me. I didn't have to eat him, but I did. To be honest, I thought, Well, he would have liked me to eat him... He was delicious."

[In 1998, Benedict Allen, accompanied by three camels, trekked 1,000 miles across Mongolia's Gobi Desert in six weeks.]

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