I snapped a shot of a monkey’s wedding yesterday. A classic picture, don’t you think? The couple are spending their honeymoon at the Pacific Edge Hotel, downtown Laguna Beach where my friend Laural’s son got married last month.
Okay, I’m messing with you. The shot I captured was in my front yard: a “real” monkey’s wedding–Southern California-style. That’s when the sun comes out while it’s raining. In other words, a sunshower. Umshado wezinkawu, the Zulus call it, “a wedding for monkeys.” It is also the name of my first, as yet unpublished young-adult paranormal novel. In it, Elizabeth and Tururu, her constant companion, are on their way to buy sweets at Mr. van Zyl’s shop in the middle of the veld when it starts raining. Here’s an excerpt in Tururu’s point-of-view.
“It’s when the sun comes out while it’s raining,” Elizabeth said, turning to face him. “Somewhere out there, a monkey’s getting married. You see, they wait for the sun to shine through the rain and that’s when they get married.”
Wiping rain from his eyes, Tururu squinted at her. Monkeys? There weren’t any monkeys around here.
“You know?” she said, a mischievous expression spreading across her face. “Married. Like when white people get all dressed up with big flowy dresses and suits and funny hats, and there’s confetti and lovely big cakes with marzipan and white icing and everything.”
Tururu shook his head and wiped the rain from his eyes. What was she going on about?
“Oh, honestly, Turu, don’t be stupid, of course they don’t really get married. How on earth can monkeys get married? They’re animals, silly. It’s supposed to be a time of magic, when something’s about to happen. You’re supposed to make a wish.” She closed her eyes.
He glanced around wondering how long before Karari caught up with him. He shivered.
She opened one eye. “Well? Come on, close your eyes and make a wish. Something you want to happen, you know. Well, like for me, I could wish that I never have to go to boarding school, or in your case, you could wish that your dad wouldn’t be so horrible to you . . .” She waited. “So, are you going to make a wish, or not?”
So, back to my shot yesterday. Look closely, you can see the raindrops.