“You know sometimes I wonder if I’m really a good dad,” Mo said pensively.

Beside him, Mo’s best friend, Tug, scratched his belly and asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Down on the grassy plain below them a horde of youngsters tumbled, hooted, and howled. “What, you mean you never worry if you’re doing the best by your kids?” Mo said. “Setting a good example, preparing them for the future, all that?”

Tug gave a long lazy yawn. “Guess I never really thought too much about it that way. I mean they’ve got food, right? They’ve got shelter.  What more’s a father supposed to do?”

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I mean, what if being a really good dad isn’t so much about the big things like food and shelter; what if it’s the little things like making them laugh while you pick the bugs out of their fur or showing them how to get the best distance when they throw their feces?”

Tug paused in the midst of picking his nose. “You pick the bugs out of your kid’s fur yourself?” he asked the other chimpanzee.

“Of course,” Mo answered.

“Wow. You really are a good dad.”

Story by Gregory M. Fox