The last fight Peppah had with her mother obsessed her.  It stood out in her mind  like a giant picture postcard in front of her face.  It was one o’ clock in the afternoon.  Mama was sleeping the day away and Grandmother Jones was fussing around the apartment, trying to make something out of nothing in the kitchen.  A hopeful smell of onion and bouillon cubes misted through the place.  She had gathered two beat-up looking carrots and a half-cup of Minute Rice and a row of saltine crackers that would serve for
dinner.

The bonobos used to ride along on limited errands, but all that stopped two years ago after Isabel’s car was swarmed at a McDonald’s drive-through. The driver of a passenger van in front of them had glanced in his rearview mirror and spied Mbongo, who had successfully talked his way into a rare and cherished cheeseburger and was riding shotgun. Moments later adults and children alike mobbed the car screaming, “Monkey! Monkey!” and trying to thrust their arms through the windows. Mbongo’s response was to dive beneath the back seat as Isabel maneuvered out of line, but the incident sounded the death knell for public outings.