Aidan and the Treehood of Surf Monkeys
Story by Ross Cauvel
Illustration by Annie Wilkinson
Aiden climbed a banana tree
And grabbed the fruit he could pull free.
A noise came from the dirt path below—
Monkeys with surfboards walked in a row.
Aiden followed them, quiet as a snake.
They swung on vines and swam across a lake.
Once they reached the edge of the jungle,
Aiden heard a deep, booming rumble.
Between the palm leaves, he saw water in motion.
It was the first he’d seen the grand blue ocean.
The monkeys rubbed wax on top of their boards.
They tied on leashes made of strong cords.
Each one paddled over wave after wave.
Sarah wondered, “Could I be that brave?”
A set of waves rolled toward a monkey named Zach.
He caught one, then hit the lip. Thwaaaack!
All of the monkeys shouted a howl,
Oow, owwww oow, owwwwwww!
Aiden saw a board laying on the beach.
His chance to go surf sat within her reach.
As he paddled out, the sun warmed his face
And he saw the beauty of this place.
But then a big wave crashed and knocked him down.
His foot got stuck and he thought he may drown.
A hand grabbed his leg and unhooked his leash.
Aiden swam to the top after being released.
Zach’s sister, Maria, had rescued him.
Good thing, too, before the day turned grim.
Once on the beach, Aiden let it all out—
Tears welled up like water from a spout.
Maria said, “Surfing is dangerous that’s for sure.
But I can teach you to be safer, then you’ll score.”
Aiden learned where the rip currents went
And to paddle with elbows slightly bent.
Underwater, they saw the shape of the swells.
The energy hit the reef, lifted up and fell.
Aiden paddled back out and waited for his turn.
He was full of courage from what he learned.
A set appeared and headed straight to him.
Aiden paddled hard and his board hit trim.
He popped to his feet and caught his first ride.
This was what he heard others call “the glide”.
He liked the feeling of the wind in his hair
And he rode the wave as far as he dared.
All of the monkeys shouted a howl
Oow, owwww, oow, owwwwwwww!
On the way back out, Aiden flashed a big smile,
“Next one, I’ll ride on my head—monkey-style.”
Maria said, “There’s one more lesson I must teach.
See that tiny monkey watching us from the beach?”
“You must look out for others, like I did for you.
Will you promise to do that?” Aiden said, “I do.”