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Chapter 6 Lost!!!

One day, while the rest of the family was sleeping, Lupé and Peter played in the big mountain almond tree. 


Peter found a wasp nest.  He knew that if he went very close to the nest and shook the branch, the adult wasps would fly out and try to attack him.  The wasps would land on his arms and sides and try to sting him.  But he was very fast.  He quickly grabbed them and ate them.



Lupé thought this was very smart and she tried it.  Carefully she approached the nest and shook the branches.  She heard angry buzzing from inside the nest and she darted away.  Six wasps flew out and landed on her.


One stung her, which hurt and caused her to peep quite anxiously.  Peter came over to see why she was upset.  It comforted Lupé and she ran off to catch more wasps.  They tasted so good!


She and Peter took turns shaking the branch and catching wasps.  It was scary and sometimes it hurt.  When Peter got stung it made him drool.  But just a little.



Peter said, “I bet I can catch more than you!  I already caught 10 and you only got 3!”


Lupé tried harder.  She shook the branch and when the wasps came out, she caught four more.


Peter and Lupé were having so much fun that they did not notice when her family woke up and began feeding.  Lupé could hear Carmen and Tita softly calling to each other. 


“Heh, heh.  I’m here,” called Tita.  “Heh, heh, over here.” said Carmen.


“Yip! Now I have eleven!”, called Lupé. 


“I still have more than you,” laughed Peter.


Slowly the troop began to leave the area.  The soft “heh” calls became softer and softer, and further and further away. 


But Lupé didn’t notice.  She was too busy catching wasps with Peter.


The troop went deeper into the forest, over the hill and away.  Soon, Lupé couldn’t hear them at all.   But she still didn’t notice they were gone.


After a while, Lupé and Peter were so full it was hard to run.  “Let’s rest,” laughed Peter.


“OK,” said Lupé.  I’ll go rest with mom.  Maybe she can groom the leaves out of my fur.”


Lupé looked over to the tree where Carmen had been, but she wasn’t there.


“Heh, heh. Yip heh,” called Lupé.  But no one answered. 


Lupé glanced at Peter, but he was busy combing through his fur, cleaning it.  Lupé ran out to a big branch and carefully scanned the area where her mom had been. 



Heh, heh,” she called.  But no one answered. 


Peter looked up and scanned the area too.  He couldn’t see anyone.  He also called.


“Heh, yip,” he called.  He ran around the tree, looking everywhere.


Lupé began to be afraid.  She couldn’t see anyone.  She couldn’t hear anyone.  No one called back.  Where were they?


Anxiously, Lupé cried out in alarm, “HUH! HUH!  Where are they?”


“HUH! HUH! HUH!” cried Peter.  He ran up as high as he could a looked into the forest, barking. "I cannot see them anywhere.  Where are they?”


Lupé began to feel very afraid.  Anxiously she jumped from branch to branch, searching the forest for any sight of Carman and her family.

“HUH! HUH!,” she cried as loud as she could.  “Danger! We’re all alone and I’m afraid!  HUH!”


“Gyrrah!” yelled Peter.  Peter and Lupé did not see any predators but they were so afraid they started alarm barking.


“Gyrrah! Gyrrah! Gyrrah!,” yelled Peter and Lupé as loud as they could.


“Arrawh! where are you?  Arrawh!,” yelled Lupé in her loudest voice. 


Peter also made the lost call: “Arrawh! Arrawh!”


Off in the distance, came the response: “Arrawh!, Over here, Arrawh!”  It was Julio.   Carmen called too, “Arrawh!”


Lupé and Peter called back to Julio and Carmen, and they began running through the trees in the direction of the adult’s voices.


Back and forth Lupé and Peter would call, and Carmen would respond: “Arrawh! Arrawh! Arrawh!”


After several minutes Lupé could hear the group and finally she could see Julio laying low on a branch watching for Peter and Lupé.


“We’re back!,” cried Peter


“We found you!,” cried Lupé.  As she approached her mother, Lupé made a soft Trilling call.


“I’m sorry I didn’t pay attention.  Peep!  I was so afraid,” she said.


Carmen replied “I’m glad you knew to make the lost call.  I’m so glad you’re safe.”

Lupé thought about the times she had heard members of her family use the arrawh call.  Usually, they used it when someone got separated from the troop.  But once, when it was raining, the troop was foraging near the plantains. The monkeys were spread out in the plantains, searching for insects.  Lupé could only see little Abi and Granny Bette.  Suddenly the wind began blowing very hard and the rain came pouring down.  Lupé could not see anyone, there was so much rain.  Large branches came crashing down out of trees and leaves where blowing everywhere.


Red started calling in a large Palmiche palm, “Arrawh!”  Everyone quickly ran to the palm and huddled in the crown.  Lupé felt safe, cuddled between Carmen and Max.  Soon the wind became more gentle, and the rain came more softly.  The monkeys began searching for food again.  Each time the rain and wind came became very strong, Granny Bette or Red would make the arrawh call, signaling the troop to return to the palm.  And then, when it was safe, they would go back out to forage.

Quite often, after Lupé's troop fought with other troops who came into their range, Bette would call the troop together.   When the fight was over, Bette would run back to the plantain plantation, go up into a very tall fig tree, and call until the troop came together.


Once, Julio became concerned when some unfamiliar humans came too close to the troop.  He called, “Arrawh!”  once and he rushed away, up a hill and into the forest.  The whole troop rapidly followed him.


Lupé was so glad there was a way to find her family when she got lost.  She snuggled down on the tree branch, curled up next to her mother, and she made soft peeping sounds, asking her mother to groom her.


Her mother leaned forward and began combing through the fur on Lupé’s side.  She carefully separated tangled fur and gently pulled out bits of leaves and dirt.  It felt good.



Baker, Mary E.   personal observations 1991-2018


-- -- .1998. Fur Rubbing as Evidence for Medicinal Plant Use by Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus capucinus) Ecological, Social, and

Cognitive Aspects of The Behavior. Thesis (Ph.D.) University of California, Riverside.

Boinski, Sue. 1993. Vocal Coordination of Troop Movement Among White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys, Cebus capucinus.

American Journal of Primatology 30: 85–100.

Gros-Louis, Julie J., Susan E. Perry, Claudia Fichtel, Eva Wikberg, Hannah Gilkenson, Susan Wofsy, and Alex Fuentes. 2008.

Vocal Repertoire of Cebus capucinus: Acoustic Structure, Context, and Usage. International Journal of Primatology 29: 641–70.

Oppenheimer J. R. 1973. Social and Communicatory Behavior in the Cebus Monkey. In C. R. Carpenter (Ed.), Behavioral regulators of behavior in primates . Cranbury, N J: Associated University Presses, pp. 251–271.

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