Listen to the Recordings on SoundCloud of Gorillas Singing Little Food Songs to Themselves

 
A scientist describes one of these
as the equivalent of a sigh of
contentment, and the other a low

frequency hum. Also, how adorable
is it that they make up different
songs for different foods? Perhaps

not so adorable: how it's mainly
alpha male silverbacks that sing
to express enjoyment while

they eat; how typical. What about
the females—do they hum the songs
they compose under their breath,

do they sing with other females,
together in a bower of green stalks
or by the water as they groom each

other's hair? What they do is
supposed to show how, like ours,
their bodies instinctively

make sounds to indicate
awareness of life's varied
textures and flavors: moans

or yelps, prolonged groans
that inform anyone within ear-
shot that here in the mouth is

a moment of such particular
relish, or in the toenail
a splinter of unbearable

agony. Who knows if they call
each other names like sweet pea
or cupcake, sugar pie or honey-

bun; if it's the ripe calabash
or the pulpy soursop that elicits
the most ecstatic songs, second only

to the gurgling that infants make as they
drink the milk, before their eyes glaze
and their heads loll back in pleasure.

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