Story Cubes: Circus tent, gears, beaker with liquid, jewel necklace, stressed face, exclamatory star, monkey, mountain cave entrance, and glasses.
“Bring the table over here,” Mademoiselle Fiona said. She pointed to the dimly lit corner of the tent and then grabbed her cushioned chair to follow behind her helper. She went back for her tattered suitcase and unloaded her fortune telling devices onto the table.
She spread out her black velvet table cloth, then set up the crystal ball. Her emerald amulet swung out from her neck when she leaned forward. The ever watching performing monkey saw the glint of light reflect from it and bounded into action. He sprung from his keeper’s shoulder and landed on the chair behind Fiona. She didn’t notice him until his little fingers wrapped around the chain and yanked.
“Hey!” She snatched for his arm, but he was too quick.
The chain snapped and he jumped back out of her reach. He let out a screech that sounded more like a cackle and leapt up into the bleachers. He wove in and out of the legs and arms of those that tried to catch him and then right out the tent flap.
“Pierre!” Fiona snapped. “Get him! That’s my emerald!”
Pierre, the monkey’s keeper, shook his head, but ran out of the tent after the monkey. He was back almost at once though.
“Uh, well, mademoiselle… He’s ran off into the cave.” Pierre said and wrung his hands. “I said we shouldn’t set up so near the mountain, but no one listened to me. He likes small dark places like that.”
“Well, go in and get him!” Fiona said and stomped her foot.
“I can’t. It’s up too high. I can’t get to the entrance.”
“Ugh!” Fiona screamed.
“Wait, I think I have an idea.” Bernie, their “mad scientist,” stepped forward. “I’ve made a liquid that smells like bananas for Pierre’s act. That little guy can’t resist the stuff. We can lure him out with it.”
“Good, fine. Go get it.” Fiona waved her hands and plopped down into her chair.
Pierre shrugged at Bernie and they went off for the supplies. Pierre dug out the cage from his pile of luggage. Bernie grabbed a beaker and mixed a few liquids to create the banana scent. Then George, one of the crewmen, ran up with some of the rigging.
“Here. We can use this to make the cage a trap. Hang it from a tree and use this pulley to lower it once he’s in the right spot.”
“Good thinking,” Pierre said. “If he saw the cage on the ground, he’d run the opposite direction.”
“Get a move on!” Fiona yelled from her chair.
The men trooped out of the tent and up to the side of the mountain. Pierre pointed up at the cave.
“There’s a tree that gets near the cave. I’ll climb up so I can splash some of this by the opening,” Bernie said. He tucked his beaker into his pocket and began the ascent.
George and Pierre went back a little way and set up the trap with the cage. Not long after, Bernie ran towards them, sprinkling the mixture as he went.
“Hurry! Hide!” Bernie said. “He’s already coming, little rascal.”
The three of them ducked behind a bush and watched as the monkey sprinted along the trail with the emerald necklace clutched in his fist. He sniffed the ground every few feet and then took off again. He stopped right below the cage and looked around. The scent ended there.
Right before he looked up, George let go of the rope and the pulley spun and the cage fell on top of him.
He screeched and rattled the bars, but Pierre stuck a real banana in with him and he was immediately content. He even dropped the necklace. Bernie scooped it up from the ground and they headed back to the tent.
“I’ll tell her to lock it up next time. She doesn’t need to wear it before show time anyway,” Bernie said.
“Good luck with that,” Pierre said. “She never takes it off. Except when this guy steals it, that is.”
He shook the cage and monkey looked up at him with a mouth full of banana.