Not My Monkeys. Not My Circus. #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the saying, “not my monkeys, not my circus”. What is the situation that would spawn that aphorism? Have fun with setting and characters! Go where the prompt leads!

This saying was unfamiliar to me, as it was for many of the other writers. It means that it’s not my business, not my responsibility.

For my response, I’ve drawn upon the mountains of lost property that are collected during the school year, items for which children didn’t take responsibility at the time and may not always recognise as theirs when it comes time to claim them.

At the last school I was at, we had one lovely mother who would collect all the items, take them home and wash them, bag those that were named and return them to the owners, and make the others available for collection. She was an angel, and many parents were indebted to her for this very generous and money-saving service. Unclaimed items may have been used as ‘spares’ or sold as second-hand in the uniform shop.

My story is entirely fiction. I hope you enjoy it.

Not My Monkeys. Not My Circus.

Students, instructed to reclaim missing items, trooped past tables overflowing with lost property. Anything not claimed would be discarded.

Henry couldn’t remember what he had to find.

“Not my hat. Not my jacket,” he said. “Not my shoe, not my sock. Not my undies. Pee-ew! Not my lunchbox. Not my water bottle. Not my monkeys. Not my circus.”

“Wait. Monkeys? Circus?”

Henry took the Barrel of Monkeys and the painting.

“Look,” said one helper, amused. “Henry’s mum told him to find three hats, two pairs of shoes and a jacket.”

“Not my monkey. Not my circus,” said the other.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Oh My! including mine, will be available to read at the Carrot Ranch as soon as the WordPress Happiness Engineers work out a technical glitch for Charli. (Good luck, Charli!)

32 thoughts on “Not My Monkeys. Not My Circus. #99WordStories

  1. Jules

    Yes, it is quite amazing what is left after a school year. I’ve also taken note of the ‘left over’ or ‘lost and found’ boxes at resturants.

    I was listening to the radio and an airline in Europe had some odd unclaimed items…. live items a pair of donkeys… and a pair of dogs.

    Now though somefolks have trackers on their luggage and can tell when an airline is ‘fibbing’ about where their luggage may actually be when it isn’t where it is supposed to be. We had someone mistakenly take our suitcase a few years back. We did get it back… eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules

        Sometimes when my hubby would travel with his tools (about a 50 pound case) it wouldn’t be put on the lugage belt. They had a different location that kind of stuff. And we had to get our suit cases first and then go to that other area.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Jules

            I’m guessing the airport is just trying to save the luggage belts from the extra weight. Just like grocery lines… being in an airport one really can’t rush or expect quick actions. Some folks can take just a carry-on. But it gets more complex when you have to check luggage…(or baby car seats and strollers).

            Liked by 1 person

    1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I mean I loved your take and it works well with the prompt, even if the phrase is new to you. But Charli stepped in it worse a few years back when she used slag as a prompt word and our friends from the UK apparently had a quite different meaning for slag than the intended cast off rocky waste from mining and smelting. Aren’t words fun?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norah Post author

        I think I do remember that, vaguely. Yes, words are fun. You’d think English speakers would agree on meanings, but we can’t even agree on spellings, so what hope do we have?

        Liked by 1 person


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