Gary the Gorilla


Gary the Gorilla was taken from his home.
He wasn’t mistreated but he was not free to roam.
They kept him in a cage and taught him to sign
so he could communicate that all was just fine.

They kept him alone – away from all others,
except the two researchers, the Donahue brothers.
The brother’s would ask him, “Gary,” they’d say
“How are you feeling on this beautiful day?”

With a thumb to his chest and his fingers stretched out,
he’d say he was fine. He never signed “great,” nor gave them a pout.
They treated him nicely and fed him like a king
but he’d rather’ve not been locked away like a thing.

Gary, one day, heard the two brothers talking,
the lab had lost funding and on the edge they were rocking.
Gary understood that money bought food,
and to not offer help would be terribly rude.

So, he signed them a story, with his huge, apen hands.
Slow going it was, but they had no other plans.
They watched as he told a story of golden treasure he found,
one day when he was young and loafing around.

The brothers looked at each other, their eyes filled with fire.
Greed was a human attribute that Gary did not admire.
The next day they were gone, off on their adventure,
while the intern fed Gary, not paid but indentured.

After two long weeks and a flight over seas,
the tickets expensive, due to some hidden fees,
the brothers returned, worse off than before
they had found nothing, they were broke, and their muscles were sore.

They accused him of lying and ruining their science,
Gary lifted his arms in a sign of compliance.
He promised them both, that golden treasure was there
and if they couldn’t find it, to blame him was not fair.

He made a jelly-fish fist swimming away from his chest
then each hand made an “a” and together they pressed
“Take me with,” he had signed while nodding his head.
He assured them, “I show you,” and he meant what he said.

On this trip, they cut corners, to keep the cost down.
They bought Gary a human ticket and dressed him up like a clown.
They spent every last penny to get to the jungle
and they just had to hope that this time they’d not bungle.

While unboarding the plane, Gary tipped off a man.
The guy noticed the gorilla and to security he ran.
But they were in Africa already, and left the airport in a rush
eager to disappear off into the brush.

They knew the authorities for them would be looking
but if they came back rich, bribes might keep them from booking.
So, they trusted the ape to lead them to riches, but if not…
they’d be arrested, and sentenced. In prison they’d rot!

Gary led them along and they walked for three days
and past where they had previously stopped by a ways.
Uphill they did trek, Gary leading their paces,
until they were certain they would fall on their faces.

Then they stopped in a clearing and the brothers sat down.
Chuck, the older brother, wore an exhausted frown.
He was sitting there thinking about how he missed his wife Anna,
when Gary plucked from the tree and handed to him a banana.

“How much longer?” Chuck asked. Looking up, he sighed,
because Gary looked into the trees. The golden fruit there he eyed.
“Here,” Gary signed, not bothering to look their way,
because he knew exactly what their faces would say.

The trees were full of fruit; more than most, at least,
but suddenly the Donahue optimism ceased.
“What do you mean we are here?” Chuck’s face in a scrunch.
Gary grabbed handfuls of bananas, brought them down by the bunch.

Then, the pile huge, “golden treasures” he signed.
“And this treasure here doesn’t need to be mined.”
“You lying, dirty ape!” the younger one yelled.
Then Gary stood up and his gigantic chest swelled.

Any anger the brothers felt, melted away into fear
as Gary started to howl and beat his chest, stepping near.
The brothers ran away and Gary did not follow,
for to tear their arms off would be a victory most hollow.

He had gotten what he wanted, he was finally free.
And the brothers were broke; they could not pay their fee.
When they were caught, behind bars they would stay,
While Gary the gorilla would eat treasure all day.

The end

You can listen to me read it here:


You can get Gary swag here:


5 responses to “Gary the Gorilla

  1. Pingback: Band of Gorillas | Imasillypirate

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