On an island somewhere in the Indian Ocean, so called because of the numerous monkeys that are found there, hardly four inches high, with yellow eyes, black face and a lions' mane. They assault ships that dock in the island's harbour, stealing everything that they can find.
Should the traveller escape the monkey's clutches, a greater danger awaits him on the mountain slopes. Here stands a castle inhabited by a creature reminiscent of a human being but as tall as a palm tree and black from head to foot, with blazing eyes, tusks like those of a wild boar, a mouth as deep as a well, lips like those of a camel hanging over his chest, ears like watermelons hovering over his shoulders and nails like lion's claws. His main dish is human flesh, and visitors should therefore avoid all contact with him.
City of the Apes
On the coast of the Indian Ocean, where lofty houses overlook the sea. Its name derives from the ape population in the surrounding area. Every night the apes invade the city, sack it and kill every human being they can find. To avoid being slaughtered, the inhabitants leave at dusk through their back doors that open onto the sea and spend the night in small ships which the apes cannot reach. These same apes, however, are also the cause of the city's prosperity, because in the daytime, when the apes retreat into the mountains, the inhabitants follow them with baskets full of stones with which they pelt the beasts; to defend themselves, the apes throw back coconuts. These are collected by the inhabitants of the city and sold for a large profit to the many other cities on the coast.
(Anonymous, The Arabian Nights, 14th-16th cen. AD)