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 and continued daily life as if nothing extraordinary had just happened. Here is one such remarkable and almost unbelievable event that happened to an ordinary working Expatriate and his family on mid 1970s.
A Donkey on your Roof ???
Paul's wife called. "Paul, there's a Mad Monkey on our roof. It's trying to get into our house". Paul listened. "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. It took only seconds for Paul to decide the Police were needed. Paul jumped into his car and took off for Jumeirah Police Station. Paul later said " How could I explain this situation over the telephone to a Dubai Policeman when he didn't speak much English and I didn't speak Arabic ?"
Paul explained the situation to the Duty Officer. The Duty Officer's eyes slowly glazed over as Paul told his story. Duty Officer thought for a moment then asked,"How did the donkey get on your roof?" "No! Not a Donkey - a Monkey!" The Duty Officer understood and immediately shouted instructions. Duty Sergeant disappeared then reappeared holding a length of rope and two bananas. Paul pointed out the Monkey was more intent on biting Paul's children than any banana. Duty Officer understood, 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 already in the front with the Driver - in the back were six Policemen, each carrying a rifle. Officer told Paul "We will follow you". Paul set off for his Villa in Jumeirah closely followed by a Police convoy with their sirens blaring and blue lights flashing.
Where did the Monkey go ?????
Outside Paul's Villa, the Sergeant and his six Policemen leapt out of the Landrover. Sergeant immediately spotted the Monkey sitting on the Villa's roof above Paul's front door. The Sergeant had an automatic weapon. He opened fire sending a hail of bullets towards the monkey, leaving a trail of bullet holes up the side of Paul's Villa in the process. He missed! 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. They were empty. No one had ever planted anything in these boxes. Now they provided shelter for a mad Monkey seeking refuge from pursuing armed Policemen. Now and again the monkey leapt from one window box to the next. Each move brought another hail of gunfire from the Policemen's weapons - but to no effect apart from more bullets holes in the Villa's walls. The Monkey also 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 Paul's villa, Paul and family listened to the sporadic gunfire and felt the occasional thud of bullets hitting the wall. "Stay away from the windows" Paul shouted when curiosity got the better of Paul's children. Then 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 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 high in the air by its tail - one dead monkey. 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 really. 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!