Jerzy has made a series of tiny drums. All summer long, he follows the insects, with his timpani mimicking their sounds, stories, songs. He memorizes them. Winters he teaches the younger monkeys the stories, so that Sanity Creek will never lose the mythology of their small compatriots.
Though several monkeys from Sanity Creek might rightfully be considered superheroes, Fiona the Bold actually is one. A modern champion, Fiona the Bold has no need to cloister her true identity behind a mild-mannered façade. Whoever touches her fiery exterior finds her energy and vim contagious. Her particular gift is to warm those who are chilly, and amuse the unamused and unamusable. Fiona the Bold achieves this by frequently standing on her head and reciting the alphabet of the stars (which, as many know, is markedly different from the Arabian, Cyrillic, Courtesan, Lovefounderling, and Juiced alphabets) in a moderately loud voice. You know it when you hear it.
Inside Out Collection, Number 7.
The waters of Sanity Creek wouldn’t be safe for swimming without Waterlulu’s supervision. Why, just last spring, she helped eleven fledgling swimmers avoid peril when they got caught at Watercress Rapids, where, as you know, in 1921, an inexperienced unfortunate met his demise. Though this was long before she was born, Waterlulu is haunted by dreams of that day, and in her dreams, the dreams which she does remember, she saves the little waif with her long and judicious reach. When she is not on duty, you will find her training monkey lifeguards, or if it is near lunchtime, munching on toast and marilee sauce at the creek’s edge.
Inside Out Collection, Number 6.
Mavis enjoys making trouble. She speaks loudly in the library, despite being shushed. And then there was the controversy over her footwear, which she denies was deliberate, but behold the facts: While most of the monkeys of Sanity Creek enjoy their free, barefoot ramblings, Mavis showed up at the pebble painting party wearing combat boots. Who knows where she found them. She never said. No laces, just the boots, flaring out at the top like odd tulips, repeatedly sliding off her feet, so she had to pull them up with each step. It was weeks before anyone talked about much else. But despite her prickly exterior, it is widely assumed that Mavis is the one who knits all the silky newborn monkey blankets, leaving them on doorsteps to be discovered with the morning dew.
Inside Out Collection, Number 5.
Martina is euphemistically referred to as the Night Gardener. Because of her condition, she must be careful in sunlight. So in addition to night-blooming Jasmine, she has discovered more than seventy new types of flower, including the rare Jamjam poppy. Her plants thrive after the sun sets. And there is always magic and mystery between each shadowed petal of her garden. She likes the quiet, mostly.
Inside Out Collection, Number 4.
Stumpy Henrietta is a monkey of mystery and merry-mischief. She is never sitting still, always thinking or creating, often both simultaneously. Part mechanic, part performance artist, always vixenly. Before Grigsby executed his seventeenth annual paper airplane exercises, she secretly replaced the smooth, white stones that line the landing strip with empty eggshells. This meant an unusually soft but crackly landing. (After the festivities, Henny replaced the stones, never wanting to disrupt the general safety of Sanity Creek.) Her home is a wonder, full of clementine crate lamps and intricate tea leaf tapestries. We hear that her next project will involve metal shavings and feathers.
Inside Out Collection, Number 3.
Jonah exudes calm like the slow trickly spring melt of Sanity Creek. If his cousin Ignatius is frenetic energy and high humor, Jonah is peace and ancient wisdom. Ignatius used to call him “Shanti” because of his attitude. He brings this serenity with him everywhere, and it affects everyone around him. Mama monkeys send their anxious littles to sit by him at the banks of the creek. His mellowing influence has effortlessly resolved many conflicts at school and beyond. He has simple tastes and needs. We could all learn a lot from Jonah.
Iliana is always thinking. Sometimes she is dreaming of new methods, new ways to see the world: not straight on, not upside down or backwards, but into and through a set of reflections. Like nesting dolls. Sometimes she is the doll, and sometimes she is the nest. She has trouble explaining her peculiar lens to other monkeys, but she knows that her work is important, and that she is headed toward a deeper manner of illumination. Something new, in a world where too many people believe there is nothing new in the universe. Her plan is to prove them wrong.
Grigsby is a purist. Although aeronautical technology has progressed in the last hundred years, he remains loyal to the original paper airplane. As a paper airplane pilot, Grigsby gets a lot of indulgent smiles when he straps himself into his vessel with his blue rubberband security design system (patent pending). And takes off, confident in the growing nostalgia for simpler days, when a piece of well-folded paper was enough. In this economy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s onto something.
Sanity Creek Sock Monkey
The Simple World Collection
Petunia Grinberg was born for the piano bar. A distant cousin to Stripey Joe, Petunia Grinberg watched as he rose to fame, lingering over glasses of Cesare’s Dolcetto wine, lost in the music of the tiny piano. Obsessed with math and matchmaking, she has calculated the likelihood of various events and romances, and her predictions have been 93.9% accurate, most of the time. She would have been great at anything she decided to do, but for now, she is thrilled to sit back and observe the life that her calculations have created. And yet…the flag pin she wears is tangible recognition of something she never could have predicted would happen, and evidence that Petunia Grinberg, in November 2008, became more optimistic about the world.