Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Jungle Adventure

By Samuel Telanoff, Grade 7, Santa Monica, CA


I had no idea why they were standing there. Right in front of me were two people, possibly from the government.

“Steve, we’re here to give you a job. You can either take it, or keep on living your life as a criminal.”

“What’s the pay?” I asked. There was no way I was doing this for less than 10 grand.

“$50, 000,” they said, “but, it’s a hard job. We’re sending you to a jungle, full of tigers. You’re job is to rescue a squad from the army who crashed there after the war. They are being held captive by crazy gorillas and have approximately a week to live.”

“It’s a deal,” I said.

“Your flight leaves in two hours. That should give you enough time to pack.”

I packed up spare clothes and jackets, plus two swords and a knife for backup. I got to the airport with 10 minutes to spare. The ride was dull. There was nobody else on the plane, except for the pilot, who already explained to me that I was parachuting into the heart of the jungle.

Aw man, I thought. No in-flight beverages.

I landed in the jungle with my two swords at the ready. Stealthily walking, I looked through the jungle. On the way, I found nothing but trees. Suddenly, I heard a roar. An ambush of tigers leaped out, like men clearing hurdles. I slashed out with my sword, defending myself.

But, in a minute I was pinned to the floor. I thought it was over, when suddenly the tigers started running away. I looked to where they were running, and saw a herd of deer.

“Thanks,” I called out, hoping the deer could hear me.

The next morning I started trying to track the missing army. It was a hard mission, since my swords and knife were broken by the tigers’ hides. At least animals left me alone, well all of the animals except the flies. They were the only thing that liked my new odor.

Around mid-day, as I was preparing to eat my lunch; a delicious mix of river leeches and leaves, I heard a sound that told me I was close! It sounded like, yes… it was! A calliope playing Baby Elephant Walk.

I crept along the river bank, concealing myself as much as possible. I finally found the source of the music. There was a gorilla dressed in a powder blue tuxedo with an orange top hat playing the calliope. Next to him were three other gorillas, each dancing. The first one wore a silver jumpsuit with gloves on his feet and shoes on his hands. The second gorilla wore a sun dress and a Viking hat with horns. The third gorilla was in a paisley business suit with a San Diego Padres baseball cap on backwards. There was no doubt about it – these were the crazy gorillas that I was looking for.

Normal gorillas I could get passed with a simple ruse, pretending to be a giant fern. But with these gorillas, something special was required. I picked a nearby flower and put it into my jacket. Then I combed my hair and tried to look professional. I walked up to the gorillas and offered my hand; “I am J. Marcus Peabody, talent scout for the McGillicudy and Sons circus. We heard that there was a dancing gorilla here that we had to hire for our show!”

The gorillas looked at me and at first they looked confused. They each scratched their neighbor’s head and looked at me blankly. I stared back at them. They stared back at me. I stared at them. I began to wonder if this was the best approach, when suddenly they all started to dance gangnam style.

“Bravo, Brava, Bravissimo!” I cried. “I want to hire all of you! Who cares about the budget!” Then I pulled out my secret weapon.  “I just need to see how you perform, in front of an audience-” They smiled. “-a HUMAN audience,” I finished.

They looked at each other. They looked at me. They looked at each other again, and then one of them picked me up and started to carry me into their base. That is where I saw the missing soldiers. Almost there… almost there.

They dropped me in front of the head gorilla. I knew he was the head gorilla because he was wearing a diaper on his head. The gorillas conferred, and then looked at me. They brought the soldiers in and had them sit down in front of the troop of gorillas. The gorillas started dancing.  The soldiers looked terrified. One of them started to cry, another held himself and just kept saying “I want my Mommy.” When the gorillas finished I clapped enthusiastically.

“Wonderful! Terrific! Fantastic!” I cried. “I’ll take all three. You will play the biggest big tops in the best cities!” I slapped them on the back, picked bugs out of the hair of the head gorilla. “I will take all of you back with me. But hear me out – I need to take the audience also. I need some humans to corroborate my story.”

The head gorilla looked confused, but then he nodded his head, “yes.” Proud of myself, I decided to celebrate.

“Let’s celebrate, Chief” I said as I took out a celebratory sparkler saved from my 4th of July party. I smiled, he smiled, we were all smiling. Mission Accomplished. I lit the sparkler and expected a round of “oohs and aahs.”

I forgot that gorillas are afraid of fire. They all started to shriek and stomp and beat their chests. They frothed at the mouth, and then went crazy, even for a troop of crazy apes. I do not remember all of the details, but the one in the jumpsuit grabbed my leg, the one in the suit grabbed my arm, the one in the dress grabbed my other leg, the calliope player grabbed my other arm, and the head gorilla grabbed my head, of course. They all pulled and pulled. I fought back and they let go of me, but my sparkler fell on to the floor. Then they kept trying to stomp on the sparkler to put it out. Ironically, they missed the sparkler every single time. Angry with me they smacked my head, and I fell asleep.

Two days later I woke up. The gorillas were gone, but the soldiers were still there. They told me how the gorillas ran away after they found out how they couldn’t destroy the sparkler. I told the soldiers to follow me.

The trip out of the jungle was pretty uneventful, except for the incident with the hippopotamus. But that is a story for another day.  Let’s just say that a hippo makes wild gorillas smell like roses.