The Big

R. Michael Torrey


Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual events or persons is purely coincidental. The author takes full responsibility for being a gorilla himself, since the alternative is being a Sneaky Little Bastard.

Once upon a time there was a gorilla. He was a big gorilla. He was the biggest gorilla in the jungle. He weighed like a thousand pounds. He had been cute when he was a baby gorilla, even though a little clumsy, but everyone understood. When he got to be a big gorilla though, he realized how big he was and decided that he was the best thing in the jungle. He realized that he didn't have to really listen to anyone else anymore; that everyone should listen to him, because since he was the biggest gorilla, he must be doing something right. And no other animal in the jungle was big enough or strong enough to fight him anyway, even if any of them had any objections.

So he started to throw his weight around. He started to just take whatever he wanted. He took most of everything that was good in the jungle, and told anyone who complained that all they had to do was become a big gorilla like him and then they could have whatever they wanted, too. Some of the other gorillas, they tried to grow that big, and a few of 'em came close, but really; this big gorilla had all the advantages and didn't play fair and so the other gorillas, even though they got pretty big, they still couldn't really compete with the Big Gorilla. So they joined up with the Big Gorilla and made him their leader and then they really went to town, pretty much taking over the jungle and stomping out everyone who didn't give them what they wanted and bow down to their supremacy. Those other gorillas, they never got quite as arrogant as the Big Gorilla, mainly because they were older and had seen more pain and suffering so they had a little bit of compassion, but still, in order to survive themselves anymore, they had to emulate the Big Gorilla as much as possible. The Big Gorilla, he just thought he was perfect. He just thought his way was the best way in the jungle. He thought he was helping everybody else out by making them do what he wanted and showing them the example of what good old hard work and ingenuity can do. He figured anyone who didn't want to be a big gorilla, well; they were defective somehow, because being the Big Gorilla was obviously the best thing in the jungle to be. Or maybe, he thought, they were just pretending they didn't want to be the big gorilla so they could catch him off guard. He hired a bunch of little monkeys to go out into the jungle and see if anyone was plotting against him.

Now, here's what Big Gorilla would do. He was very reasonable. Very sensitive. If anyone had something that Big Gorilla wanted, then Big Gorilla would just go and ask for it, nice as you please, and offer a big fat gorilla poop in return, (because, as we all know, that Big Gorilla's big fat poop didn't stink one bit.) Now, if Big Gorilla didn't get what he wanted, if that other animal maybe didn't want to give up what he had or maybe even, ungrateful wretch that he was, didn't want the big fat gorilla poop, then Big Gorilla had a problem. Big Gorilla wanted this other thing. He needed this other thing. It was unfair of that other animal, who was, after all, not a gorilla, to withhold this thing from Big Gorilla and how could anyone in the jungle not want a big fat gorilla poop in return? Big Gorilla would, he felt, be forced to take what he wanted, because it was rightfully his anyway, and those other animals; they were obviously of a lower order if they didn't see the rightfulness of Big Gorilla's logic. So Big Gorilla would just step on them and take what he wanted, because he'd been forced to. Sometimes he'd even leave the poop anyway, just to show how generous he was.

But some of those other animals, they didn't like what Big Gorilla was doing. They thought Big Gorilla was just a big bully. They didn't understand that when you're the Big Gorilla you're entitled to having everything your way. Like you've got the backing of the Gorilla God, who, as we all know, is the best God there is. And some of those other animals were Sneaky Little Bastards who were real good at hiding and being sneaky and they hid in all the parts of the jungle Big Gorilla wasn't interested in, and didn't want to go, and every now and then a few of them would sneak out and stick a pin in one of the gorilla gang's feet. They stuck pins in all the lesser gorillas' feet at one time or another, and the lesser gorillas would get all pissed off and jump up and down and beat their chests and call on Big Gorilla to help, but Big Gorilla would just say, "Hey, it's your problem, deal with it yourself." And nothing would really get done because Big Gorilla and his gang, they had lots of other irons in the fire and really couldn't be bothered chasing around in parts of the jungle they didn't want anyway. But then those Sneaky Little Bastards who didn't understand the rightness of doing things the gorilla way, who didn't get the concept that Big Gorilla was meant, like destiny, like some manifest or something, to have everything his way, those Sneaky Little Bastards started sticking pins in Big Gorilla's toes. And Big Gorilla was so big by this time he could hardly even see his toes, but those pins stung anyway and there were complaints so Big Gorilla roared and beat his chest and threw some rocks in the general direction of the Sneaky Little Bastards, but all he hit were some birds and a few chameleons and maybe a rabbit or two. No great loss, but it did make the Sneaky Little Bastards go away for a while. Big Gorilla then went back to collecting everything he could, and squishing everything else that was an annoyance and he began arguing with his own gang of gorillas because they wanted him to do some things he didn't think he should have to do, like clean up after himself and help take care of the sick baby gorillas. And he kind of forgot about those Sneaky Little Bastards until one day they snuck up and tried to chop off his foot. They got it chopped most of the way off, too, but the ones that were doing the chopping, they died doing it and not all of them had shown up at the same time so it didn't really get chopped off. But it hurt like hell and Big Gorilla screamed and thrashed around until his buddies got it stitched and bandaged and then they all went on a rampage, stomping hell out of every part of the jungle that the Sneaky Little Bastards might be hiding in. And they squashed all the birds and chameleons and rabbits and other critters that happened to be in those places. They chopped the whole jungle down in those places and burned it until there was nothing left but charred rubble. And they grumbled among themselves about how those gorilla-hatin' Sneaky Little Bastards had obviously wanted to take over the jungle and become dictators, who did they think they were? And they figured they must have got the Sneaky Little Bastards because they'd destroyed everything in that part of the jungle.

So Big Gorilla and his gorilla gang, they went back to their part of the jungle that had all the good stuff in it, and they lived happily ever after.

The end.