Street Monkeys  街頭頑猴

by Matthew Brown    

It turns out humans don't have exclusive rights to gang warfare.


Among the leafy avenues of a wealthy residential estate in South Africa, a turf war between rival gangs is breaking out. Battle lines have been drawn and teeth are bared. Meet the Pani troop, a group of clever, mischievous vervet monkeys.

This month on the National Geographic Channel, Street Monkeys follows the Pani troop of vervet monkeys as they play, fight, and struggle to be the toughest gang in town. The monkeys live in Mt. Edgecombe, South Africa, which is an exclusive club estate, but these vervet monkeys treat it like their own personal playground. Vervet monkeys are not large, but what they lack in size they make up for in resourcefulness and curiosity. Like kids in a candy store, they steal any food they can get their hands on. When they get hold of some marshmallows, though, watch out—sugar makes these little monkeys bounce off the walls.

But life is not all fun and games for the Pani troop. Invading vervets from outside of Mt. Edgecombe threaten to take over the Pani troop's territory. The troop must band together or risk losing everything. Unfortunately, the males of the troop are more interested in showing off for the females and securing their positions in the social hierarchy than in guarding the troop. It looks as if it will be up to the females to protect the Pani troop. Will Bess, the alpha female, and her friends be able to thwart their rivals?

One episode in the Street Monkeys series, called "New Order," focuses on the exciting and ever-changing society of the Pani troop. While the members of the Pani troop deal with their own complicated relationships, they also have to face a big change when a modern building is constructed in the place where the vervets had a secret place to hide. Vervet life seems to resemble a human soap opera, and new developments in the story are always taking place. Tune in to watch the drama!

1. The passage states that the Pani troop lives in _____.

(A) the middle of the jungle

(B) a rich community

(C) a house in the city of Mt. Edgecombe

(D) the South American countryside

2. Which of the following best describes the personality of vervet monkeys?

(A) They are intelligent and very playful.

(B) They are peaceful, but they are very lazy.

(C) They are dangerous and angry.

(D) They like candy, and they never fight.

3. Female vervet monkeys _____.

(A) often fight with each other

(B) seem to always be distracted by the flirting males

(C) seem to have to take responsibility for the group

(D) are the best at stealing marshmallows

4. In this article, which of the following are vervet monkeys NOT compared to?

(A) Children who love to eat sweets.

(B) Characters on dramatic TV shows.

(C) Groups of people who fight over territory.

(D) Tough athletes who compete in games.


1. avenue n. 大街,大道

2. estate n. 地產

real estate n. 不動產,房地產

3. turf n. 地盤,勢力範圍

turf war  地盤之爭,勢力爭奪戰

4. battle line  戰線(指戰爭中兩軍交界之處)

5. mischievous a. 調皮的,惡作劇的

6. vervet monkey n.(產於非洲東部及南部的)長尾黑顎猴

7. resourcefulness n. 機靈;足智多謀

8. marshmallow n. 棉花糖

9. invade vt. 入侵,侵略

10. hierarchy n. 階級制度

11. alpha female  群體中的女性領袖

alpha male  群體中的男性領袖

12. thwart vt. 阻撓

13. ever-changing a. 不斷改變的

14. complicated a. 複雜的

15. resemble vt. 類似,像

= take after...

16. community n. 社區

17. playful a. 愛玩的

18. distract vt. 使分心

19. flirt vi. 調情,打情罵俏


1. get one's hands on...  獲得∕取得……

2. get hold of...  抓住∕獲得……

3. be compared to...  被比喻為……

1. break out  (事件、戰爭、疾病等)爆發,突然發生

例: A rash broke out on my hand and quickly spread to my arm.


2. bare vt. 使露出

bare one's teeth  (憤怒或發威時)齜牙咧嘴

例: I was nervous when the dog bared its teeth at me.


3. exclusive a. 獨有的;專門的

exclusively adv. 獨有地;專門地

例: These seats are exclusively for the elderly.


4. lack vt. 缺少

lacking a. 缺少的

be lacking in...  缺乏……

= be wanting in... 

例: He lacks common sense.

= He is lacking in common sense.


5. make up for...  彌補∕補償……

= compensate for... 

例: Nothing can make up for the loss of a friend.


6. watch out (for...)  留意∕當心(……)

例: When traveling in crowded areas, be sure to watch out for pickpockets.


7. bounce off the walls  非常興奮

例: Tony drank too much coffee and now he's bouncing off the walls.


8. threaten to V  恐嚇∕威脅要……

例: I threatened to call the police if he didn't stop harassing me.


9. take over...  接管∕接掌……

例: Chris is planning to take over his father's company.


10. band together  團結一致

例: We can get through this if we band together.


11. secure vt. 保衛 & a. 安全的

feel secure  覺得安全

例: I feel secure when I am with you.


12. be up to sb  取決於某人

例: It is up to each student whether or not he or she passes the exam.


13. focus on...  著重在……;專注於……

例: This newspaper tends to focus on the celebrity gossip.


14. take responsibility for...  負起……的責任

例: You should take responsibility for the mistake you made.




  對龐尼幫來說,生活未必充滿歡樂和遊戲。來自厄齊康峰外的入侵者威脅要接管龐尼幫的勢力範圍。龐尼幫得團結一致,否則可能會失去一切。不幸的是,幫裡的公猴只顧著在母猴面前展現魅力,以及捍衛自己的社會地位,對於擔任幫裡的保衛工作反而興趣缺缺。看來保衛龐尼幫的工作似乎得由母猴出馬。女首領貝絲(Will Bess)和她的娘子軍們能夠擊退來犯的入侵者嗎?

  《街頭頑猴》系列中有一集叫《勝者為王》,主要介紹 龐尼幫令人驚心動魄且不斷改變的社會結構。當龐尼幫的成員忙著處理自己錯綜複雜的關係時,還得同時面對一場巨變,就是長尾黑顎猴的秘密藏身處竟然興建了一棟現代建築。長尾黑顎猴的生活就好像人類世界的肥皂劇,而且新的故事情節還不斷地上演,敬請您準時收看!

1. 文章提及龐尼幫住在 _____。

(A) 叢林的正中央

(B) 一個有錢的社區

(C) 厄齊康峰上一間城裡的房子

(D) 南非的鄉間

題解: 根據第一段,長尾黑顎猴軍團在南非一個富有的社區中進行一場地盤之爭,可知牠們居住在此,故選 (B)。

2. 下列何者最能描述長尾黑顎猴的個性?

(A) 牠們很聰明又很愛玩。

(B) 牠們愛好和平,但是很懶惰。

(C) 牠們很危險,又愛生氣。

(D) 牠們喜歡糖果,而且從不打架。

題解: 根據第一、二段,長尾黑顎猴很調皮,還把南非厄齊康峰上的私人俱樂部當成自己的遊樂場;此外,長尾黑顎猴雖然體型不大,但牠們卻很機靈和充滿好奇心,可知應選 (A)。

3. 長尾黑顎母猴 _____。

(A) 通常打來打去

(B) 似乎總是因為公猴獻殷勤而分心

(C) 似乎必須為團體擔起責任

(D) 最擅長偷棉花糖

題解: 根據第三段,公猴比較有興趣在母猴面前展現魅力、捍衛自己的社會階級,因此保衛家園的工作似乎得由母猴出馬,故選 (C)。

4. 文章中未用下列何者來比喻長尾黑顎猴?

(A) 喜歡吃甜食的小孩。

(B) 電視劇裡的主角。

(C) 為爭奪領土而大打出手的一群人。

(D) 在比賽中難纏的運動員。

題解: 第二段提到『牠們就像小孩子進了糖果屋,把能帶走的食物都一掃而空』、第四段提到『長尾黑顎猴的生活就好像人類世界的肥皂劇』、第一段則提到『南非一個富有的社區中,正上演一場地盤之爭,誓不兩立的雙方人馬早已劃下戰線、齜牙咧嘴地展開對峙』,均用來比喻長尾黑顎猴,僅選項 (D) 未被提及,故選之。

標準答案: 1. (B) 2. (A) 3. (C) 4. (D)

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