When Doctor Dolittle began treating animals instead of people, he became famous throughout the animal kingdom. On his many adventures, the good Doctor befriended Polynesia the parrot, Dab-Dab the duck, Gub-Gub the pig, Jip the dog, and a friendly, two-headed Pushme-Pullyu.
And when he learned of a strange disease among the monkeys in Africa, he sailed there to contain the outbreak. Finally, all the monkeys were healthy again, and Dr. Doolittle told them that his work was done and that it was time for him to go home.
This is how the author Hugh Lofting described Dr. Doolittle's delicious going-away party in the African jungle:
When the packing was finished and everything was ready to start, the monkeys gave a grand party for the Doctor, and all the animals of the jungle came. And they had pineapples and mangoes and honey and all sorts of good things to eat and drink.
After they had all finished eating, the Doctor got up and said, "My friends: I am not clever at speaking long words after dinner, like some men; and I have just eaten many fruits and much honey. But I wish to tell you that I am very sad at leaving your beautiful country. Because I have things to do in the Land of the White Men, I must go. After I have gone, remember never to let the flies settle on your food before you eat it; and do not sleep on the ground when the rains are coming. I—er—er—I hope you will all live happily ever after.
It’s probably safe to say that those monkeys did live happily ever after with so many fresh tropical fruits to consume, and you will be probably feel very happy, too, if you "monkey around" a bit and make this simple and delicious recipe for Tropical Fruit Salad!
3 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
2 cups seedless grapes (red or green)
2 crisp sweet apples, sliced
3 bananas, thinly sliced
3 medium oranges, peeled and diced
Directions: Chop fruit and mix gently in large bowl. Stir well, then serve in small bowls and enjoy!
FAST FACT: The title of the original 1920 book was The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed. The sequel The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922) won the prestigious Newberry Medal. The next three books, Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (1923), Doctor Dolittle's Circus (1924), and Doctor Dolittle's Caravan (1926) are actually prequels, or "midquels", as they take place during or after the events of The Story of Doctor Dolittle. Five more titles followed, and after Lofting's death in 1947, two additional volumes of short unpublished pieces appeared.