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Alicia and her boyfriend Matthew both in their mid-twenties were spending their autumn vacation in a tree house in a private holiday resort.
It was a dream come true, especially for Alicia who had always dreamt of living inside one.
"I can tell by the look on your face Alicia that you're having a great time." Matthew said, handing her a coconut with a straw inside it.
She smiled and took it from him, taking a sip.
"Mmm, I certainly am, it's too good to be true and how I wish we could live here all the time."
"Me too," replied Matthew, "but unfortunately we have to pack up tomorrow evening."
Alicia switched the TV on; a Tarzan movie was playing, featuring the legendary Johnny Weissmuller.
"Oh this is so funny Matthew, I just love the way he yodels; Oh please, can you yodel like that for me?"
Matthew coughed and turned away embarrassed.
Alicia reached out and held his right arm.
"Listen, we're good friends aren't we? Please do it for me, just this once?"
Matthew smiled and replied, "Oh, alright; but just this once and after that you won't ask me to do it again."
Matthew took a deep breath then placed both his hands on either side of his mouth, then "AAAA-AA-AAAAAA- AAAAAA-AAAA!!! AHHH-EEAHHH EAHHHH-EEEE-AAAAHHHHH!!!"
Alicia was so impressed that she gave a standing ovation and clapped her hands.
The phone rang and Matthew answered it.
"Listen; if I hear any more strange sounds coming from your tree house then I'm going to come up there and personally..."
Matthew put the receiver down abruptly.
Alicia looked at him, "Who was it?"
"Oh, somebody accidentally rang the wrong number." said Matthew, fumbling. Alicia knew he was hiding something, but overlooked it this time.
"I'm hungry Matthew, let's order something from the Jungle Menu shall we?"
"Good idea, Alicia."
So the two of them sat on the bed and searched through the menu.
Alicia made her selection.
"There, I've made my choice! I think I'll go for the jungle vegan hamper, followed by a cocoa egg."
"Mmmm, and I'll go for another coconut followed by a mango ice-cream surprise." Matthew rang reception and ordered their food.
About thirty minutes later there was a knock on the door.
A native entered their room accompanied by a baboon holding a tray containing their food.
Alicia was surprised as it entered, casually placed the tray on their table and left the tree house.
Matthew signed the receipt and then asked,
"Excuse me, but does that baboon always take orders?"
The native gave a bemused look and replied,
"Oh please do not mind him, his name is Coomah and he is a special resident of this forest. He has been helping us in our resort from infancy, ever since some cruel poachers attacked his parents, so we adopted him. Even now, he is terrified of humans."
Alicia's face saddened and she said, "I'm so sorry to hear about that."
She turned to Matthew. "Oh Matthew, that poor baboon."
Matthew looked back at her, seeing a change in her expression.
"Alicia, now don't get any strange ideas, please."
The native bowed and left.
After their meal, they decided to retire to bed.
Around 2.40am Alicia heard strange sounds coming from below the tree house.
She checked to see if Matthew was asleep and he was, so she tip-toed out and climbed down the ladder to investigate.
The following morning Matthew awoke to find that Alicia's bed was empty.
"Alicia! where are you?"
He got up and searched around in the bathroom and elsewhere but no sigh of her. 'I think I'll order my breakfast and then look around for her; she couldn't have gone far!'
He rang reception,
"Good morning, this is tree house number nine and I'd like two of your jungle toasts with peanut butter and two fresh mango juices."
Matthew was restless and was pacing up and down the room wondering where Alicia could be.
Half an hour later he heard footsteps climbing up the ladder and then there was a knock on the door.
To his surprise Alicia opened the door, dressed as a native girl, and was accompanied by Coomah the baboon.
"Your breakfast is ready sir, may we join you?"
Matthew wasn't sure how to react and backed away.
"Sure...please sit down." he said with a bewildered look on his face.
Coomah put the TV on and began playing with the remote control.
Alicia gently tossed a banana to him.
"Matthew, I think you know where this is heading. You know how much I always wanted to adopt an animal and now, after hearing Coomah's sad story last night, I've made up my mind to adopt him, not just as a pet, but as a family member."
Matthew's jaw dropped.
"No, this cannot be real," he said in a shocked voice. "First tell me where you were last night?"
Alicia grinned. "Would you believe it? Coomah was calling to me and we had a late night meal of fruit. It was then that I realised that somehow we had bonded."
"Well Alicia, I guess you have made your choice, it's him over me."
Alicia paused and looked at Matthew and then she went up to him and gave him a tight hug.
She looked into Coomah's eyes as he ate his banana, some of which was all around his lips and gave a gentle smile.
"Alright, I guess I have my answer, so what's your plan?"
"I've decided I'm going to work here with Coomah. Like I said earlier, I always wanted to live in a tree house and I've had a word with Mr. Sambah the manager. He has appointed me as his personal assistant at this private holiday resort."
"Wow" said Matthew, "this is happening so fast, my head is spinning, I guess I'll make a move then, no hard feelings, I'll drop by and visit you both time to time."
So after his breakfast Matthew climbed down the tree house ladder to leave and as he did so both Alicia and Coomah waved him goodbye.
They lived happily ever after in the tree house.
After all, this was just the beginning of a beautiful new friendship.
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