Excerpt from “Monkey Planet” by Pierre Boulle ~~Zira~~

picture-MonkeyPlanet-BoulleWe part after making arrangements to meet on the following day. Zira goes out first. Remaining behind with Cornelius for a moment, I take the opportunity of thanking him with all my heart. Inwardly I’m wondering why he is doing all this for me. He reads my thoughts.
‘Zira’s the one you ought to thank,’ he says. ‘It’s to her you will owe your life. On my own, I don’t know if I should have gone to so much trouble or taken so many risks. But she would never forgive me for being a party to murder . . . and anyway . . .’
He pauses. Zira is waiting for me in the corridor outside. He makes sure she cannot hear and quickly whispers:
‘Anyway, for her as well as for me, it is better that you should vanish from this planet.’
He closes the door after me as I leave the room. I am alone with Zira and we take a few steps along the corridor.
‘Zira!’
I stop and take her in my arms. She is as upset as I am. I see a tear coursing down her muzzle while we stand locked in a tight embrace. Ah, what matters this horrid material exterior! It is her soul that commutes with mine. I shut my eyes so as not to see the grotesque face made uglier still by emotion. I feel her shapeless body tremble against mine. I force myself to rub my cheek against hers. We are about to kiss like lovers when she gives an instinctive start and thrusts me away with violence.
While I stand there speechless, not knowing what attitude to adopt, she hides her head in her long hairy paws and this hideous she-monkey bursts into tears and announces in despair:
‘Oh darling, it’s impossible. It’s a shame, but I can’t, I can’t. You are really too unattractive!’

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “Monkey Planet” by Pierre Boulle ~~Zira~~

  1. Pierre Boulle was born in Avignon, France on 20 February 1912, and died on 30 January 1994, aged 81 years. ‘Monkey Planet’, or ‘La Planète des singes’, was originally published in French in 1963.

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