"I never gave up hope. I prayed, meditated, and now he's with us again," 47-year-old Bonni Marcus said upon being reunited beloved monkey doll Bongo, who went missing in Park Slope last week. Bonni and monkey doll dad Jack Zinzi the toy from monkey doll rescuer Luis Barreto's Park Slope apartment on Saturday. The New York Post reports:
Marcus, who teaches English as a second language at a Manhattan private school, Rennert Bilingual, said she "felt Bongo's presence" even while approaching the apartment.
But she said she had to closely examine the monkey to make sure it was Bongo. She confirmed this through the doll's identifying marks, including a "burn scar" she had accidentally given the stuffed animal five years ago after a lit ash from a cigar she was smoking blew onto it.
"I was devastated and gave up smoking after it," she said.
Well, at least Bongo is a good influence. Apparently the rescuer is as Bongo-obsessed as the monkey doll's adult human "parents" are:
"I fell in love with Bongo and wanted to keep him," Barreto said. "He looked real to me and is cute."
Ultimately, he said he caved in after seeing how "heartbroken" Marcus was and being promised he could visit the doll.