We’d Be a Tasty Morsel
We went to the zoo today. It was that or put up the Christmas tree. I campaigned heavily for the zoo. God, I hate that tree.
It’s a windy day and a little brisk out. It turns out that those are the ideal conditions for the animals. Everyone of them seemed to be active. When we first got there, the monkeys were swinging, the polar bear was swimming, the giraffes were stretching their long necks and tongues over the wall to snatch mesquite bean pods from the hands of the delighted people on the other side.
I was able to translate what I overheard The Bandit saying the other day. “The cantaloupe has horns,” is what I heard him say. Turns out the “cantaloupes” live on the prairie with the lions, zebras and rhinoceroses. Cantaloupe = Antelope. “Hey, mom, look at all the cantaloupes!” Whew- mystery solved.
I also learned that boys have inherently better tortoise detectors than girls. Don’t ask. Just know that it is so.
Also, in a very strange development, I learned that my husband wanders the zoo contemplating wrestling with the animals. He’s fairly sure he could take the Andean Bear and the Dwarf Caiman. I think this is very odd, as well as being a strictly masculine behavior. I sincerely think that a woman would not look at a bear in a zoo enclosure and wonder if she could pin it or not. I know I don’t. Unless it was standing in the way of the cupcakes.
But the real excitement came at the lion enclosure.
Our zoo recently obtained a new lioness. Her name is Kaya and she is magnificent. Usually, the lions are so comfortable lounging around in the grass that we don’t linger very long at their enclosure. Today was not one of those days. This was the first time I’d seen Kaya – the other times we’ve been there she must have elected to stay inside. You can see the lions from several vantage points, most of them giant windows. One of these has the feeling that you’re standing in a giant cave. There is one big wall of windows and a smaller window at the floor to the left that peeks into a cave like recess where the lions sometimes go to nap.
We were standing next to the wall of windows when the Kala decided that she was a little bored. She wandered over to the pond and fished out a ball.
She proceeded to play with this ball around the enclosure, batting at it and then giving chase. She sent the ball into the side of the male lion, who wasn’t as excited about playing ball as she was, so he got up and they wrestled a bit.
At one point she disappeared from view so Sassy, The Bandit and I knelt down and pressed out faces to the little window into the cave. She looked right at us and lunged at the window, snarling and growling. Her face actually hit the window and then she pawed at it. The three of us screamed and jumped. It was so awesome!
We stayed there for a long time. She paced the length of the big window and thrilled all the people.
At one point I sat down on the concrete and she and I had a staring contest.
It’s just awe inspiring. I could really feel her watching me and then she would make an almost imperceptible change in position from sitting to ready-to-pounce. Even through the window, I could feel the increase of adrenaline.
This was sooooo much better than putting up that stupid tree.