Once upon a time in a jungle far far away, there lived a young gorilla named Chance. He was a happy go lucky fellow living a carefree gorilla life with his mom, dad, older siblings, and extended family. He loved going on food forays with his mom, shaking bananas out of trees and hunting for young bamboo shoots, his favorite food of all.
Chance had a mischievous streak, and with a twinkle in his eye, had a habit of sneaking up on the other young gorillas in his cohort and tickling them from behind. This of course always turned into young gorilla mayhem, tumbling around on the ground play wrestling. Chance also enjoyed frolicking with his dad, the leader of the group. He would charge his dad in a playful way and his brawny dad would give him a ride on his back. When Chance was all played out, he’d go cuddle up with his mom who would rock him to sleep while she carefully preened his fur.
Chance had a favorite uncle who served as a sentry for the entire group. Chance would accompany his uncle on border patrols every time he was allowed. He was enchanted by his uncle’s stories about far away places. Chance was a very smart gorilla and would ask lots of questions to learn all he could from his venerated uncle. He learned that the world wasn’t all jungle and he yearned to one day see what his uncle called “the great blue ocean.”
As Chance got a little older, he became even more inquisitive. He dreamed of traveling internationally. Against his parents’ wishes to keep him safe, he would often go off exploring on his own well beyond his groups territory. One day while Chance was walking through an unfamiliar forest, he encountered a strange looking primate he had never seen before. On his previous safaris, he had seen chimpanzees, bonobos, and various little monkeys but nothing as odd looking as this bizarre looking primate! With his curiosity piqued, he quickly hid behind the wide trunk of a baobab tree so he could spy on this curious creature without accidentally frightening him away.
As he watched the strange primate, Chance took mental notes so he could tell his parents, uncle, and the other elders in his group about him. The first thing he noticed was that he was draped in some sort of weird webbing. Chance moved in undetected for a closer look to see this odd webbing covering the primate a bit closely. The best Chance could make out was it looked like some kind of thin fibers woven together. The webbing almost covered the strange primate’s entire body so it was hard to actually see what the creature really looked like! The webbing had a look reminiscent of jungle vegetation but also strangely different. It was mostly smooth with these little pouches and shiny things hanging off it everywhere. Chance mused to himself, “Why would a primate want to drape webbing all over himself?”
Chance noticed that the behavior of this primate was truly odd too! When he looked up in the trees, he didn’t use his own eyes! Instead, he had a strange black object he held up to his eyes and then he’d look up while turning a little knob. Instead of looking for food like most primates, this silly primate seemed to be admiring the birds! Occasionally, he seemed to try to imitate their song but it was a laughingly bad imitation! Then the odd primate took a funny looking stick out of out of the web pouches and started manipulating it between his thumb and index finger. The marks he was making on a thin white sheet looked like some sort of code and a primitive picture of the bird he had been admiring!
At one point, the curious looking primate took off one of the outer layers of webbing draping his body. Chance was shocked at what he saw! His arms were almost naked — virtually no fur! Just pale skin with a few sparse hairs sticking out. Chance wondered if this odd looking primate might be sick or even some sort of mutant gorilla. He was obviously much smaller and much weaker than a gorilla. Chance felt kind of sorry for him and thought to himself, “Poor fellow.. he’s so ugly he’s kind of cute!”
As the odd ugly primate started to walk, Chance decided to follow him to see where he went. He trailed way behind him so he wouldn’t be noticed. After a short walk, they came upon a small clearing with some funny looking structures. These structures looked a little like above ground caves. The odd primate went inside one of these caves and Chance got a little closer so he could see more. That’s when he got a real surprise! There were three more of these strange looking primates all draped in the same type of funky webbing.
Chance had very good hearing and he could hear the noises they were making. They were talking in a language he did not understand but he got the gist that they were very excited about the birds they had been seeing. Chance ended up hanging out spying for two days and two nights. It was longer than he had ever been away from home but he was so curious about these strange creatures, he wanted to keep them under observation.
Chance noticed that the four odd primates spent an inordinate amount of time fiddling with a strange object he had never seen before. It was metal and shiny with a very bright flat rectangle that showed all the colors of the rainbow and showed pictures of some places and things Chance had seen before but also many pictures of places and things he had never seen. Chance was strangely drawn to this object.
There were lots of pictures of birds, butterflies, flowers, and trees. But what got Chance really excited were pictures of big tall rocky hills with a big body of blue water. Could this be the “big blue ocean” his uncle had spoken so fondly of? Chance HAD to know more. He waited for the perfect opportunity when the odd primates shed their webbing to splash around in a nearby watering hole. Then he snuck inside the above ground cave.
Chance was almost scared to touch the object with all the pictures but he had noted when one of the weird primates touched a certain button, a different picture would load. The first time he pushed this button, his finger was trembling but it made an oddly satisfying clicking sound he liked. He started clicking other keys and was delighted to see what would show up. As he was studying a close-up picture of an elephant, he heard a sound behind him. He rotated around quickly to see all four of the odd primates dripping with water and starring at him. Chance panicked and quickly departed running for at least a mile before he sat down to rest.
Chance’s head was spinning with so many new images and ideas. He found some bananas for energy and then proceeded to make the trek back to his territory. He was deep in thought the whole way home and he knew he would have to return to find out more. When he got home, he was lectured by his mom and dad for having been gone for so long. After his scolding, he attempted to tell them about what he had seen but they were just too upset to listen. Later, he slipped away to go on a perimeter patrol with his uncle. He told his uncle all about his amazing adventure. Patient as always, his uncle listened for a long time without saying a word.
After Chance had verbalised all he had to say, his uncle finally spoke, “Chance, the primates you saw were humans. What you need to know is that some humans are very nice. They are friends to gorillas. However, other humans are not so nice. So, you have to learn the difference.”
“How do I know if they’re nice?” Chance asked.
“You’ll just know, trust me. The ones you observed sound like birdwatchers or scientists, not sure which. Either way, they are generally friends to gorillas. I think what you saw them using was a computer.” his uncle replied.
“What’s a computer?” Chance asked.
“Well, I don’t really understand it fully but it is some sort of machine like those cars we saw once… do you remember?”
“Yes, I remember the cars uncle.”
“They’re kind of like cars but they seem to store information like we store in our brains and they store pictures like we see with our eyes and they store sounds like we hear with our ears.”
“I would love to see more. Do you think it would be safe?”
“Don’t tell your mom and dad I said so, but yes, I think it would be safe enough.”
That night, Chance couldn’t sleep. He was all wound up and thinking more than he had ever thought before. He snuck off the next day determined to meet these “humans” again and see if they would allow him to see their “computer” again.
He got to the above ground caves around noon. At first the four humans seemed startled and a little scared. Chance beamed them a big smile to let them know he was friendly and one of them extended his hairless arm and hand. Chance did not know what to do so he just copied the human and they shook hands. Chance pointed at one of the computers and wiggled his fingers. The humans laughed and they brought it to him.
Chance and the humans became fast friends. Over the course of the next few months, he learned to communicate with them through a language called English. He found out they were computer programmers from Glasgow Scotland but they had taken a sabbatical to go bird watching, their favorite hobby. They were just as fascinated with him as he was with them so they all learned a lot from each other.
Chance seemed to have a natural aptitude for computers, programming, and website design. The humans were constantly amazed at how fast he picked it up. Before they left, they gave him a computer and a map to a place where he could pick up a satellite signal to send them emails. Using this system, they kept in contact over the next year while Chance continued to learn all he could about computers and the internet.
As Chance became increasingly drawn toward computer work, his family became concerned. They wanted him to live in the jungle with them. However, his uncle was different because he realised that Chance was different than most gorillas. So, by the end of the following summer, Chance devised a plan to move to Glasgow Scotland and work with his human friends. His family was saddened by this news but they finally accepted it because they wanted Chance to be happy. The day Chance left, they all gave him big gorilla hugs and told him to make sure he visited often and he promised he would.
As his plane approached Scotland, Chance looked out the window and saw a big body of blue water! It was the vast ocean his uncle had described to him so often and he could see the Scottish Highlands in the distance too. His new home was so beautiful, he was in awe. After he landed, he was greeted by his human friends with a big basket of bananas and a few human treats to try too. Chance loved the chocolate covered cherries the most!
His friends had gotten a flat fixed up for him and they gave him a tour of the office and his own desk. As he settled in, he grew to love Glasgow and he quickly became well known for being one of the best web developers the area had ever seen. Those that admired his work the most nicknamed him the Glasgow Gorilla, a moniker he wore proudly.
And he lived happily ever after, becoming one of the best web designers, programmers, and online marketing experts the world had ever seen.