I sit in a tree and watch the hazy sky above Ubud. The monkeys are avoiding me, many of them preferring a quiet game of Scrabble on the other side of the forest. They are at the top of the tree, far from the ground.
Abu asked if I want anything. He is going for a beer run. I shake my head and he leaves.
The Writer’s Festival finished weeks ago (October 15). Ubud isn’t as busy as it was. I wonder if Luce is still in town. She was also at this year’s festival. I was too frightened to attend her exhibits. Or wander the streets in fear of being recognised.
Twenty minutes ago, Chompy sits down and hands me a banana sandwich. As I eat he gives a lecture about my blog, and how I’ve barely mentioned monkeys or the forest or who our pet white tiger has mauled, in weeks. I’ve focused too much on the festival, my past, and on Luce.
He believes I owe an apology to my kingdom, and to you – the readers.
So to keep Chompy happy, I’ll talk about Bitey, our white tiger.
We stole Bitey months ago from Mike Tyson to celebrate my coronation. We were drunk. Certainly we were not thinking about how we were going to take the tiger back (drugging some meat and throwing Bitey into a car doesn’t work as well as it does in the movies).
So Chompy gave Bitey his name (how could you guess) and we just let him wander the Monkey Forest. He is our free range tiger.
None of the other monkey forests have a white tiger. This makes us awesome.
Bitey is actually quite nice and polite, as long as you don’t go anywhere near the ground.
He is nice to the baby tourists and gives them rides. Anyone else he seems to hate. There are maulings at least three times a week.
I will leave you with this statistic.
Did you know that this year in Ubud, there has been a 312% increase in white tiger attacks. Tragic.