Monkey in the Navy
Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My informant for this piece is Gable Munn. He’s a freshman at Utah State University studying biotechnology. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Georgia. Besides his 2 year mission period he has lived in Utah his entire life. Before we started our interview he expressed how important family was to him. Gable is a resident’s assistant in the dorm I live in, and that is how we met. He told me stories about his grandpa, family, and his mission.
Gable’s grandpa was in the navy during World War 2, though he didn’t say where exactly his grandpa was stationed. He didn’t provide a lot of background for this story. He is really close with his family. He asked his grandpa about the story he had often heard about his grandpa owning a monkey. He said this story was told over a family home evening at his grandparents house. This story calls into question what else could have happened on naval ships during the war.
He was on this ship, in the navy, and this other guy had a monkey there; because they were sailing around the Pacific islands, and they just pick up random crap, y’know, and so this one guy just picked up a monkey. And, so, this monkey was going around, and the other sailors would tease this monkey; and they’d like pull it’s tail and whatnot, and so the monkey didn’t like them. But my grandpa was always nice to the monkey, so the monkey liked him (right.) And so this guy he was getting sent home, and he couldn’t take the monkey with him, and so he gave it to my grandfather cause he was the only one who liked the monkey, and the monkey liked him. He was going to try to bring it home; but it’s a little expensive and hard to get approval.
Gable seemed proud of his grandfather for being so kind, when everybody else had been so cruel to the monkey. He told this story, partially in an attempt to give me a story I hadn’t heard before, and also to emphasize his relationship to, and the importance of, his family. He told this story calmly, with a glint in his eyes. This story seems unique, as I wasn’t aware soldiers were allowed to pick up anything on tour, let alone bringing wildlife back with them. He shared this story at a social gathering, and so it’s not one he seems reluctant to share. I would still classify Gable as a passive bearer, despite his willingness to share stories, he doesn’t go into a lot of detail.
Intro to Folklore
Prof. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
G7: Marriage and Family
Turner, Jake, "Monkey in the Navy" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 581.
Additional FilesMonkey in the Navy.docx (7 kB)