(One of) 40 Ways to Leave Your (Baboon) Lover

June 8th, 2012

Whitlow (WTW) is a crappy girlfriend.  Perhaps she’s just a little too no-nonsense, a little too take-charge, but she’s also a bit of a cold fish.  As I followed various baboons yesterday, I happened upon WTW and her current beaux, Sima.  They seemed content enough, Sima grunting after her if ever she seemed to be moving off too quickly.  This grunting struck me as a bit obsequious for a big male, but Sima’s not much of a looker and perhaps he was trying to go for nice guy points.  Earlier, while following White Thorn (the highest ranking female), I watched her chase Whitlow around, apparently disapproving of any female hanging around any male for long periods of time.  Instead of running off, though, WTW just made darting circles around Sima, parkouring off trees as if she were in some sort of ninja movie, but never moving outside a 5 meter radius.  Sima—baboons aren’t known for their chivalry—just sat and in the middle of the quibbling females, watching and ignoring them in turns, as if they were televised golf game.  This darting and dashing while staying close to home seemed to suggest that WTW thought if she ran off too far Sima might not follow.  It seemed to suggest attachment.  But WTW was just using the poor lout.


Later that afternoon I found myself following the amorous couple and I felt pretty nonplussed by their romance.  They sat several feet apart, like a middle-aged married couple that didn’t have much to say to each other and couldn’t actually stand to be too close.  Occasionally, Sima approached WTW and presented his side for grooming.  She would look pointedly away.  He would grunt at her; she ignored him.  He looked like a gentle husband trying to pull his wife out of a foul mood and she was having none of it.  Soon his gestures became more grand, flopping himself down in front of her in a prone grooming position.  He raised an arm in the air to give her easy access to his armpit and flank.  She gazed off into the distance in stiff concentration, pretending Sima simply wasn’t there.


Then Asayuti showed up.


Asayuti is one handsome devil.  He’s big and burly, a real man’s man baboon.  His chest is broad, his hair thick, his face dark and powerful.  If he’s not the current alpha, he should be.  He’s got the braun (not sure about the brains…).  When WTW saw him she walked quickly in his direction.  Realizing that his beloved (at least for the day) was walking toward another male, Sima loped after, grunting pathetically as if to remind her that actually, you know, maybe she should remember she was probably still with him.  Asayuti, adhering to the rule of consorts (these mini-relationships that males and females form when females have swollen butts, indicating that they are ovulating), deferred to Sima, though he could seriously have kicked him into next Tuesday.  WTW persisted, approaching Asayuti again and again, perhaps in an effort to bring things to a head.  Sima, however, (clearly not much of a fighter) didn’t exactly protest.  Most males direct their babes away from rival males, but Sima seemed to sense that if Asayuti wanted WTW, he was going to get WTW. Eventually, though Asayuti moved off and WTW found herself stuck.  Then, when Sima wasn’t looking, she climbed up a tree and just sat there, quiet as can be.  Sima looked around.  Seeming to think his lady-love might have ambled on up the path, he headed that way.  After a few minutes, Sima out of sight, WTW climbed back down out of the tree and started to double back.  Soon she was running.  And she was running straight for Asayuti.  It was almost as if she had slipped him a note that said, “Meet me under the mangazi tree at 2:30 PM!  My boyfriend won’t suspect a thing!”  Breathless, she ran up to him, presented her flanks as a female in heat is wont to do, and Asayuti, now thoroughly invited, climbed on and that was that.  Sima was ditched.  WTW had a new boyfriend, and he was a bit of a hottie.