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Russell Edson Poems
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The Family Monkey by Russell Edson
We bought an electric monkey, experimenting rather
recklessly with funds carefully gathered since
grandfather's time for the purchase of a steam monkey.

We had either, by this time, the choice of an electric
or gas monkey.

The steam monkey is no longer being made, said the monkey

But the family always planned on a steam monkey.

Well, said the monkey merchant, just as the wind-up monkey
gave way to the steam monkey, the steam monkey has given way
to the gas and electric monkeys.

Is that like the grandfather clock being replaced by the
grandchild clock?

Sort of, said the monkey merchant.

So we bought the electric monkey, and plugged its umbilical
cord into the wall.

The smoke coming out of its fur told us something was wrong.

We had electrocuted the family monkey.
View Russell Edson:  Poems | Biography | Books

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