Kids & MusicAhem. Well, this isn’t exactly a library-related story, but it’s uke-related, and pretty funny. Back in 1917, the New York Times published a story about a chimp (called “a monkey” in the headline) at the Bronx Zoo named Fannie who was crazy about the ukulele.

She was given the ukulele by a little girl, and evidently loved to play it. The other apes in the zoo, however, weren’t as fond of the sound of Fannie playing as she was, and one of them, an orangutan named Gumbo, stole it away. (Simply jealous, I’m sure.) But when the keepers recovered it for her after a five-minute chase, Fannie was overjoyed:

Her joy,” said the keeper, “was marked. She hugged her beloved ukulele to her breast, and, taking it into a secluded corner, began to go over it with her paws. Satisfied that it was not broken, she began to test each string, and as each note sounded out she grunted her satisfaction.”

So there we go – a lesson for all readers of this blog who haven’t yet picked up a uke and played it in storytime, because they tell themselves, “Oh, I can’t play an instrument.” If a chimpanzee can play the ukulele, so can you!

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