This is one in a series of posed shots my father took when we were young – Jeff, Chris and I, happily avoiding evil in the classic “Three Wise Monkeys” proverb. We thought it was funny, and clearly fun from the looks on our faces. I had no idea at the time of the meaning, but was interested to see this description on Wikipedia:
The Three Wise Monkeys (Japanese: 三猿, san’en or sanzaru, or 三匹の猿, sanbiki no saru, literally “three monkeys”), sometimes called the Three Mystic Apes, are a pictorial maxim. Together they embody the proverbial principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of “do no evil”. He may be shown crossing his arms.
There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action.