Ziggy the Extra Special Bush Baby
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Hello, my name is Ziggy. Well not really, my mother never gave me a real name, but Ziggy is what the doctors here named me and i think it is a good name so you can call me Ziggy. I am a bush baby and i am 2 years old, i was born in africa but now i live in america in a big building called the foundation that has lots of doctors and scientists, who spend lots of time studying extra special things and people and animals like me. The doctors asked me to write this so they can learn about my life and try and figure out if there are any more extra special animals like me where i came from. Im sorry if my writing is not good, im just learning to write and i dont have big hands like people do but the scientists made me a special keyboard so i can type.

Ever since i was born i knew i was smarter than the other bush babies. My mother and my brothers and sisters couldnt even understand me when i tried to talk to them, they could howl and screech about little things but they werent smart like me. The other bush babies knew i was different, theyd stay away from me when i was around. Mother protected me from them when they tried to hurt me but i think she didnt even know what to do with me either, so i spent lots of time alone as soon as i was old enough to wander around without her. I liked to sneak into the villages where people lived and watch them. I got really good at hiding because most of the people when they see a bush baby they get all angry and try to chase you away. I watched them for a long time when they were farming or cooking or eating or talking or doing other things, thats how i learned to talk the way people do. Doctor Samesh says the way i talked when they found me is called french, but most of the people at the foundation talk a different way thats called english so i learned how to talk that way too.

One day about a year ago there was a big fire, i was asleep and i woke up when i heard all the other bush babies screeching. All the trees were burning and everything smelled like smoke and mother was screaming for all of us to run. So i ran and i ran and i ran and i dont know how far i went because the sun was bright and there was smoke everywhere and i could barely see, but i ran until i was too tired and i fell over and went to sleep. When i woke up i didnt know where i was, there werent any trees just tall grass and bushes and a village far away, and i couldnt hear any other bush babies anywhere. I tried to call for mother and she didnt answer, i must have run in the other way from the way they went and now i was lost. I was too scared to go back the way i came because i could still smell the smoke and i was so hungry and thirsty i had to find food.

I found a stream to drink from but there wasnt any good food anywhere so i snuck into the village and stole some food from one of the peoples houses. I know its wrong to steal but i was all alone and i was so hungry i thought i was going to starve. I didnt know where to go so i found a place to sleep by the village and at night id sneak in and find food to eat. I did that for a couple weeks but then one night i got into a house and one of the people saw me and yelled at me. I was scared but i was really hungry so i asked him can i please have an apple or some berries im so hungry? But then he got scared and he started screaming that i was a witch, and other people came and chased me and i ran out into the fields and hid.

I dont know what a witch is but i know im not one because witches are bad people and im just a bush baby. It got pretty bad after that, i couldnt even get into the village any more because the people were always looking for bush babies and they were killing them all. I tried to go to a different village and i couldnt get in there either, i even found a forest like the one i grew up in and people were killing all the bush babies there. I had to hide all the time, they set traps all over the place to catch bush babies but i stayed away from them because i was smart. I couldnt find any good food though, i got thin and sick and i thought i was going to die.

One day people came who were different than the people in the villages. Their skin was white instead of black and they wore big bulky clothes and they had guns. They started setting traps and capturing bush babies too and their traps were better hidden than the ones the people in the villages made. They caught me eventually, i thought i saw a good place to hide for the day but when i went in it was a cage and it snapped shut on me. I was stuck in there for hours and couldnt get out, i was so scared they were going to kill me. One of the men came eventually and i started crying and i said please sir let me go i didnt do anything wrong. I thought the man would get scared when i said that but he looked happy and then he yelled hey guys i found the skip. I didnt know what a skip was but Doctor Samesh says it means something which is extra special. The man said he wasnt going to hurt me and that they were going to make sure i was safe from now on.

They put me in a car, i was scared because every time i ever saw animals going in cars they never came back, but they gave me food and water and told me not to be scared. They took me to a big city with more people than any of the villages i ever saw, then they put me on a plane and took me high in the sky for a long time. One of the people held my cage up to a window and all i could see was water.

I live at the foundation now, they made me a special room with a tree and rocks and lots of places to curl up and sleep, and they give me food and water when i need it and there are men in orange suits who clean the room every couple days. There are lots of doctors and scientists who talk to me and ask me questions, and sometimes they poke me with needles or put me in big scary machines which i dont like but they say they need to learn as much as they can about me. Doctor Samesh is the one who talks to me most of the time, he is very nice and friendly and he taught me to read, and sometimes he brings me snacks or toys like the stuffed monkey i like to curl up next to when i sleep.

I get lonely sometimes because there arent any other animals in here, but Doctor Samesh told me that i am extra special and they want to learn about me because they have other animals that are smart like me and they want to know if im like them or if there are more in the forest where i came from. He says there is even a whole bunch of them that live together, and they have a king and knights like in some of the story books he gave me to read. He says maybe i could live with them someday if i wanted to but i would have to be a christian or they wouldnt like me. I dont know what a christian is, Doctor Samesh said theres a book that explains it but i saw it its very long and has lots of hard words so ill have to get better at reading before i can figure out if im a christian or not. He says there are also bad animals here, like a big lizard that hates everybody even if youre nice to him, but when they find animals like that they take care of them too and keep them so they cant hurt anyone.

I hope this helps you understand me, i like the scientists and doctors here because they are nice and good and help extra special animals like me and i want to help them do their job good. I know im just a little bush baby but maybe someday i could be a scientist too and help other extra special animals that are scared and hungry. Doctor Samesh says that there is a dog and a slug in the foundation who are scientists, so maybe if i get better at reading and study hard someday i could be one? I hope so.

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