The Monkey Cage
by Jody Paulson
There's thousands of monkeys who live in a cage
Filled with anxiety, hunger and rage
The cage sits on top of a shelf in a lab
Where monkeys are fed all the food they can grab
Some monkeys, however, grab more than the rest
They've fought over food and proven the best
The weak monkeys starve, which then makes them weaker
The meek monkeys beg, which then makes them meeker
The big monkeys fight and they scratch and they kill
All over assurance that they get their fill
But things aren't as dim as on first glance they look:
At the edge of the cage there is a light nook
Where bright, daring monkeys imagine a way
To exit the prison which locks them away
It seems that this side of the cage might come loose --
But pushing with just these few monkey's no use!
Everybody must push! They must make them see!
If all monkeys push hard, then all monkeys are free!
They cried to the others, but they were drown out
By the yammering, clammoring and thrashing about
Of monkeys who jockey for status and mates
All caught up in jealousies, hungers and hates
And none of them heard what the bright monkeys said
It's hard to think free when you need to be fed
There were some, however, old ones in the back
Whose interest in life had begun to go slack
Who listened to all that the bright monkeys said
To which they replied: "Pooh-pooh, use your head!
"We're 'locked in a cage?' Well, that could be quite true,
"But if so, generations of us and you, too
"Were born here, lived here and died in the crowds
"So all of you take out your heads from the clouds!
"Things are as they must be, and always have been."
And with that things resumed at the back of the pen
The bright ones, however, did not lose their scope
And turned to the big monkey leaders in hope
"ALL monkeys must push? Not a chance in the world!"
said a white monkey, pained as his saga unfurled,
"The browns are at war with the black monkeys now
"And for US to help THEM our new pact won't allow ..."
"Do you honestly ask that we all push for free?
"Some slacker might push much less harder than me!
"Or worse, they'd be robbers who'd steal all our lunch
"That we'd all leave behind to go push with the bunch
"-- And further, I must say I don't think it's sage
"To be telling our monkeys they're 'locked in a cage'
"I don't see it as such -- monkeys have what they please!
"(As long as they're strong and can keep what they seize)"
"They're attacking our system! I'll bet its a plot!
"Call out the guards and start purging this lot!"
So the guard monkeys charged, adding more to the fray
Between black monkeys, white monkeys, brown monkeys, gray
The cage shook with violence, right close to the ledge
Of the high top shelf ... then over the edge
Those monkeys were silly, don't you agree?
Except when those monkeys
And are me