In the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday of this week, Mason City police officers got a strange phone call.

As reported by KIMT, the police department received the message from 10 block of S. Jefferson Ave., where a resident had "someone was at their door to buy a pet monkey."


The story continues, and it doesn't get any more normal.

"The people said they drove four hours to pick up the monkey, and the victim knew nothing about it when they answered the door at 1:15 a.m."

Though the Mason City Police Department responded to the call, the group attempting to purchase the monkey left the residence prior to their arrival. Police believe that the individuals who planned to buy the monkey fell for some sort of scam.

KIMT added to their story, "As a reminder, Mason City police said to call when unusual people are at your door, regardless of the circumstances."

Now that the story has been hit -- I feel the need to recount my own personal story of a neighbor owning a pet monkey. In small-town Iowa. When my sister and I were both under the age of 10.

Though I've briefly written about this before -- it's time to get the full quotes from my mom, dad, and sister from that moment. A moment we apparently all remember a little differently.

Here it goes.

When I was little my family and I spent a lot of time in the backyard playing whiffle ball. This is probably where my sister and I got our incredibly average athleticism.

One day, with my dad tossing the ball my way and young Eliot taking a few hacks at it, my parents saw a freaking fully-grown monkey, just chilling on the top of the neighbor's fence.

This is how my dad recalls it:

This was no happy-go-lucky Barnum and Bailey Circus primate; teeth were fully beared at your backside as I carefully moved between you and the aggressor. It was then that I noticed the leash. Being a dog lover, I thought it odd to see a cat on a leash...I had even seen harnessed children at the mall... but I was certain that a chimp was not allowed - leash or no leash- per municipal code.

Before digging my safari hat and elephant gun out from storage, I tried to talk to our neighbors, but they would not answer the door. We contacted the city clerk who made our neighbors aware of code violations: our neighbors asked us to sign papers saying it was ok for them to have a monkey farm - they had a spider monkey too. We refused even after the woman called the city crying that we were taking away her 'babies'.

And now, to mom, who sent me a video of her side of the story:

It was sitting up there, looking at us and making faces. Your dad and I stopped dead in our tracks, we wanted to keep you away from it. We were scared to death. We were like, 'That is a fricking monkey.' 

She recounts much of the same story here.

We got a letter from them, and they were pissed that we turned them in. ... They said things like 'We had her teeth pulled, so she would never hurt anyone.' ... (The owner) said he sold her to somebody for a dollar in another county or something.

From my older sister, via text:

My vision was blurry as f*** at the time, so I never even saw the monkey. LOL

I did, however, see the fence sway back and forth

I remember mom being terrified of the monkey and I was just mad we had to go inside lol

After some research from my mom, she believes it was a Crested Black Macaque.

Joshua Cotten / Unsplash
Joshua Cotten / Unsplash

Being that I was so young, I recount the story being a spider monkey (OF WHICH THEY HAD ONE OF THOSE, TOO) on top of the fence, making noises and shaking it. I also remember trying to step away from my dad and make monkey noises at it. Again, I was four. This was all more than likely fabricated in my mind as a young child.

It's still a hell of a story.

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