The Story of Clarissa Sue


I began my experience with monkeys as pets approximately ten years ago. I went to pick up a blue and gold macaw that a buddy owed me. That day, I returned home with a two-week-old marmoset. She fit in my shirt pocket since she was so little. I named her Clarissa Sue and felt my baby prayers had been fulfilled. She was little and adorable, and she required my attention at all times, even while I slept. We were inseparable from the beginning.

I appeared to know how to care for her automatically. I received the infant formula, a bed, and a care case. Clarissa was the youngest of three triplets, so her mother abandoned her, and my friend had fostered her to this point. Clarissa moved into my hair and resided there. We had a lot of adventures together, such as the time she got lost in my friend’s business and I had to rearrange displays to get her back, or when she got lost in the yard and my sister and I looked like the Keystone Cops following her. Then there was the time she leapt into my restaurant salad. What a shambles. Overall, the first year and a half was a lot of fun.

Around the time Clarissa Sue was maturing, I discovered a refuge with around 130 abandoned marmosets and tamarins and began volunteering there. That is when my true education began. It was also the period when Clarissa Sue began to develop. She began to bite my friends and family as she grew older. I always dismissed it as anything they did wrong since she wasn’t biting me. Then came the day when Clarissa bit me, and not just a mild bite, but an antibiotic-requiring one. By the time this occurred, I was caring for other parents’ abandoned children, and Clarissa was assisting me. She was a wonderful foster mother who did all she was supposed to do.

That’s when I discovered intuition. What I didn’t realize was that monkeys haven’t been reared domestically long enough to breed out their impulses, so Clarissa Sue simply did it. Her instincts also informed her that her life was not what it should have been, which prompted her to be frustrated and aggressive.

I’ve been dealing with parent abandoned infants for ten years and have a 95% success record. All of my infants are now successfully living with other monkeys with little to no human interaction since I was injured every time I attempted to hold them.

Make no mistake about it: even a one-pound monkey may inflict significant harm to any human foolish enough to attempt to touch them. Clarissa and her sister nearly got my eye and juggler vein one day when they double-teamed me. I was fortunate that day because I was quick enough to grasp Clarissa Sue and redirect the bite from her sister Annabelle Leigh’s eye to my face.

I’ll never forget the last time I played with Clarissa Sue, and it still makes me cry. I was sitting in her house’s secure room when she came out to play foot and tail with me. “I’ve got your foot, now I’ve got your tail,” we used to say. We used to play this for hours. We had just completed the game when I approached her to kiss her, and she bit my nose. From that day forward, I knew I’d have to give up that aspect of my connection with Clarissa Sue. She was fortunate to have a wonderful house with trees, sleeping and play places, and two playmates she enjoys spending time with. She is still residing in my backyard and is doing great.

Clarissa Sue taught me to respect nature. I miss our bond, but I like seeing her groom and play as a monkey should. On a sunny day, it’s a delight to see her and her sister lounging in the sun grooming each other. I’ve set up my loom so that I can glance up while weaving and watch these amazing monkeys play, share, and chase each other.

Please remember to respect the monkey and yourself by leaving the lovely “pet” monkey where you found it. If everyone stopped purchasing “pet” monkeys, people would stop selling them, people would stop trapping them in the wild, and we could still have our adorable neighbors living free and wild as the Creator intended.

I hope my experience of loss and grief helps you decide to leave the monkeys alone, but if you still have reservations, I will gladly share additional stories with you; I have enough.

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