Tom and Jerry were enjoying their summer vacation.
“Where shall we go tomorrow?” asked Jerry, “I was thinking of the Red Hill. We’ll climb to the top and have a picnic lunch there.”
“Have you seen the papers lately? Almost every day there’s something about a mysterious monkey attacking people in some slum,” said Tom. “Let’s go there on our way to Red Hill and find out if this “monkey business” is really true.”
“I’ve heard that the slum is infested with monkeys. One of them must have gone mad. They say you can get Rabies if a mad monkey bites you. People are rushing to their doctors for an injection to protect themselves against the bite. So let’s not spoil our day by going there,” said Jerry.
He recalled that bad experience when a monkey had snatched his bag of peanuts at the Children’s Park, and then kept mocking him.
“Look, this is no ordinary monkey. They say it’s as big as a man – black and ferocious. Two people are dead and over a hundred others have cuts and bruises. Why don’t we stop by on our way and get more news? ”
“Do you think it’s a wise thing to do? What if we are attacked?” Jerry asked.
“Come on. Don’t be a sissy. Besides the monkey attacks only at night,” Tom assured.
The slum was five kilometers away from where they lived. The narrow alleys were crowded with people bustling around. They stopped and questioned a boy.
“Why is everybody rushing about?”
“Don’t you know there’s a giant monkey attacking us? It comes out only at night. Work must be finished by then, as no one steps out after sunset.”
“Have you seen the monkey?”
“No, but my mother has been attacked, and has a deep cut on her forehead, and bruises over her body.”
Soon a small crowd of children surrounded Tom and Jerry. Each had a story to tell.
“It looks like a gorilla. I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” said one little girl.
“And it has red and green lights on its chest,” said another.
“You’ll see it if you stay here tonight.”
“No, no, that’s impossible. Come Jerry let’s go to our picnic spot,” Tom said.
The boys cycled off to their destination. The Red Hill beckoned. The rocks were rough and ragged, and there were just a few shrubs growing on the hill.
They had climbed a few feet when Tom almost fell into a cave hidden by shrubs.
“Jerry look, there’s a cave here – Come see.”
They parted the bushes, and sure enough it was dark inside.
“It goes downwards. Perhaps there’s a hidden stream below.”
“Come on, we have still some distance to climb. We better get going, “said Tom.
It was a pleasant climb, and not tiring at all when they reached the top. But they were hungry, and polished off the food and drink they had brought. Soon it was time to leave.
“Let’s go down the other side of the hill.”
Jerry led the way. They were scrambling down at good speed, when Tom let out a shriek.
“Something’s got me – Jerry help.”
Jerry looked back to see Tom’s legs being held by two black furry hands. In a flash he was beside his friend. Fear gave him strength. He held on to the beast’s right hand, squeezing with all his might.
“Pull away Tom pull, “he urged. Tom managed to get his leg free. “Now get hold of the beast’s left hand.”
Tom twisted himself and brought pressure on the beast’s left hand, until something seemed to give way. The boys pulled both hands and felt no resistance. Instead an ugly gorilla’s face emerged from this cave they hadn’t noticed. What they had in their hands was the costume of a beast. They heard movement in the cave but didn’t wait to investigate. Instead they rushed down the hill pulling the costume behind them.
When they reached their cycles, Jerry bundled the costume and shoved it in his carrier basket. They pedaled furiously until they came to a maidan. There was no one around.
“Let’s examine the monkey’s costume,” Jerry said, pulling it out his basket.
It had long brass claws attached to the sleeves. Two flat bulbs – red and green, were stitched to the chest. Wires were hanging from them.
“He must be using a battery to light them,” Tom remarked.
The face was like a gorilla – ferocious, with big white teeth.
“We can have some fun. I would like to put it on and walk into the village.” Jerry was a real prankster.
“No, I won’t let you do it. The people there are ready to attack the monkey with sticks and stones. They will kill you. Come let’s be on our way,” begged Tom.
They cycled to the nearest police station. There they related their story, dumped the costume, and hastened home.
Soon a police team surrounded Red Hill, and flushed out the monkey man lodged in a tunnel running under the hill. As they handcuffed him and led him to the van, somebody asked, “Why would you want to frighten and hurt innocent people?”
“Revenge,” he said, “They accused me of a crime I didn’t commit, and chased me away from the village. I would have punished the main culprit, if these boys hadn’t found my tunnel.
I only wanted to frighten them away. They fought me bravely.”
The police announced a prize for the two boys who had solved the mystery of the monkey man. Tom and Jerry became heroes. But their parents were not very happy.
“The man could have hurt you too,” they said.
The boys however, were pleased with themselves. Now their classmates would think they were very brave. They looked at each other and smiled.
“We won’t tell anyone how scared we really were.”