Spring 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 2 FictionApril 1, 2012 |

What to Do with Henry

Saffa couldn't tell how long the chimpanzee had been hanging by its ankle from the ndokuwuli tree. There was a frailty to the thing, suspended but still. The chimpanzee had to be female, judging by the baby huddled directly beneath her, squeaking hoarsely and baring its teeth. Of baby chimpanzees, he had heard that they never left their mothers, dead or alive or hanging by a single limb. The trap had been set by Saffa's uncle, who owned the surrounding papaya trees and was fed up with marauding monkeys. He had sent Saffa to check the traps that morning, and at the time, Saffa was pleased to be dispatched on what he considered a man's errand. He was seventeen, and when his father's friends came by the house, they still sent him to the kiosk to bring them back cold drinks, as though he were a boy. If only he were on his bicycle right now, rather than here, a rack of bottled beers clinking in his wire basket. Saffa glanced at the long, curled toes. According to the paramount ch

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Tania James is the author of a novel, Atlas of Unknowns (Knopf) and a short story collection, Aerogrammes (Knopf), which will be published in May. Her stories have appeared or will appear in Granta, Boston Review, One Story, and A Public Space. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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Saffa couldn't tell how long the chimpanzee had been hanging by its ankle from the ndokuwuli tree. There was a frailty to the thing, suspended but still. The chimpanzee had […]

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