Donkey of Your Roof Dubai? 1976

Events in Dubai in early 1970s were often beyond anyone's imagination or experience and yet people took these sometimes dramatic and surprising events in their stride, continueing with their daily life as if nothing extraordinary had happened. Here is one such remarkable and almost unbelievable event that happened to an ordinary working Expatriate and his family in mid 1970s.

A Donkey on your Roof ???

"Paul, there's a Mad Monkey on our roof. It's trying to get into our house". Paul was at work when he took his wife's telephone call. "It's really mad - spitting and snarling - throwing itself against our window -the kids are frightened silly". Paul was home in minutes. Home was a small villa off Jumeirah Beach Road. Paul quickly summed up the situation. The Police were needed. Paul took off for Jumeirah Police Station in his car. Paul later said " How could I explain there was a mad monkey on our Villa roof over the telephone to a Policeman who didn't speak much English and I didn't speak Arabic ?"

At Jumeirah Police Station, the Duty Officer's eyes slowly glazed over as Paul explained, After a moment's thought, he asked "How did the donkey get on your roof?" "Not a Donkey - a Monkey!" Paul answered. Now the Duty Officer understood. He immediately shouted instructions. Duty Sergeant disappeared then reappeared holding a length of rope and two bananas. Paul pointed out the Monkey was intent on biting his children not a banana. Duty Officer shouted more orders then told Paul to "Follow me" which Paul did - out of the Police Station to a waiting Police Landrover. Duty Sergeant was in the front with the Driver - in the back - six Policemen, each carrying a rifle. Officer told Paul "We will follow you". Paul set off for his Villa closely followed by a Police convoy with sirens blaring and blue lights flashing.

Where did the Monkey go ?????

Arriving outside Paul's Villa, the Sergeant and his six Policemen leapt out of their Landrover. Sergeant spotted the Monkey on the Villa's roof. The Sergeant had an automatic weapon.

Paul's Backyard

Building a boat in Paul's back yard.

He sent a hail of bullets towards the monkey, leaving behind a trail of bullet holes up the side of Paul's Villa. The Sergeant missed. The Monkey took off for the safety of Paul's back yard. Officer drew his pistol, waived his men to "Follow me" (in Arabic of course) then set off for Paul's back yard. Paul's villa was one of four built back to back with adjoining garden walls. Each Villa had concrete window boxes under every window. The window boxes were empty. No one had ever planted anything in these boxes. Now they provided shelter for a mad Monkey from pursuing armed Policemen. Now and again the Monkey leapt from one window box to the next. Each move brought another hail of gunfire - but to no effect apart from more bullets holes in the Villa's walls. The Monkey sought refuge in Paul's neighbours' windows boxes bounding across garden walls accompanied by guns firing and the zing of flying bullets.

The End of the Monkey's Tail

Inside the villa, Paul and his family heard the sporadic gunfire and felt the thud of bullets hitting the wall. "Stay away from the windows" Paul shouted when curiosity got the better of Paul's children. Then came a long silence eventually broken by a loud knock on Paul's front door. It was the Officer - with a broad smile - "The Monkey is dead - we shot it". To say Paul was relieved is an understatement. Paul thanked the Officer and his men. After handshakes and laughter all round. Paul said his farewells and closed the front door. Minutes later there was another knock on the front door. It was the Police Officer again, this time holding the dead Monkey aloft by its tail. "Could you please take a photograph?". The Officer produced a camera. Six smiling Policemen, one smiling Sergeant and one jubilant Officer lined up on Paul's front porch with the Officer holding the dead monkey high in the air by its tail. Paul took the photo. Handshakes and Farewells all round again then the Police departed happily.

Paul forgot to ask for a copy of the photo, which was a shame. A photo would have made it easier to convince his friends the "Monkey on the Roof" story was true - No! Not a Donkey - a Monkey!

A tall story? The Villas were still there in 2003. Last time I looked the bullets holes in the walls were still there too! You can check for yourself if you're visiting Jumeirah Beach Road at any time!