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.