"Please,I feed monkeys for my family, not for me!"

from NPR's All Things Considered, November 14, 2005; part of the This I Believe series

Forget the cake and presents. Listener Harold Taw has his own unique birthday tradition -- one prescribed by a Burmese monk. By faithfully following it, Taw believes he's helped his family to prosper.

Trained as an attorney, Harold Taw is taking a break from legal work to complete his first novel, Adventures of the Karaoke King. He and his wife live in Seattle where Harold has special arrangements with a local zoo to feed their Goeldi's monkey on his birthday this year.

“Our family has prospered in America. I believe that I have ensured this prosperity by observing our family ritual and feeding monkeys on my birthday. Do I believe that literally? Maybe.”