“Crate all the monkeys. ‘Cept her” Carrying her,cuddling her.
At home Miss Baker learnt arithmetic and alphabet. At work, anything, even in a tube wearing a rubber and chamois jacket and helmet, providing she got cuddles.
Hugging her,tears filled his eyes. John loved her yet capsulised her, attaching oxygen.
Countdown. “Please come back,” he whispered knowing none had survived reentry. 38 gs contorting the face he loved, her body weightless.
“16 minutes, altitude 48o kms.”
” Distance 2,400 kms. Touch-down in Atlantic.” John couldn’t watch. Excited screams. “She’s alive!”
On marrying Big George 2 years later she wished she was still a flying monkey.
Charli’s prompt this week immediately sent me back to childhood to a book I loved about Little Miss Baker. I think it was called Space Monkey. I had kept it until 3 months ago when I gave it to my 9 year old nephew. I don’t think he was too impressed but this book had me captivated. It was probably the first creative non fiction book I read. Miss Baker was a Peruvian squirrel monkey born 1957 in Peru and ending up in a pet shop in Miami. From there the navy purchased 25 of them and trained them up to be astronauts. 2 years later she and a Rhesus monkey were the first animals to successfully return to earth alive from the American space program. She went on to have two husbands, and a celebrity career finally dying from renal failure at the age of 27 in 1984. My book however did not make it this far into her life. This BOTS (I have no idea whether she had a John in her life and I’m sure that her 17 year marriage to Big George was one she enjoyed. So this is what I would consider a true BOTS. The facts are true, the filling is fiction. For the 25th anniversary of her space flight she was given a rubber duck and that brings to mind President John F Kennedy but that is another story.