Loving Husband, the Tax Deductions and I went to a zoo today, and I don't mean the local toy store during free play. It was a 40-minute drive, give or take, and it took us right into God's Land. That's right: farm country. I'd never seen fields of corn other than in the movie Signs. Whoa. And to think that I felt short before seeing row upon row of green stalks. There were also various authentic country cafes, an honest-to-goodness tavern, and, of course, the local tattoo/piecring parlor. And, you know, farms.
The zoo itself was awesome. About half of the residents walked, waddled, and flew freely amongst the humans. Peacocks, peahens, and peachicks strutted; ducks bobbed, unidentifiable birds (at least, according to this misplaced New Yorker) took aim as they passed overhead. Tortoises, llamas, tigers, lions, bobcats, an ostrich, a zebra, goats, pigs, sheep, bears...and all up close and personal. Truly an amazing experience to be only about a foot away from powerful, looming creatures (who are probably pissed as all hell to be in cages and on exhibit).
And it smelled, well, like a zoo. And, of course, it was hot and humid. Imagine the ripe stink of animal, plus various turds scattered here and there like throw pillows, and human sweat. Yummy-licious. There was another distinctive odor, though: fear. Mine.
Yeah, I know, the big animals were all in cages. Cages with what looked like dental floss for bars, but still, cages. The most dangerous sign we came across was by the llamas, zebra, deer, mountain goats, and ostrich (yup, all tucked into the same pen): WARNING: SPITTING ZONE. All I could hear in my head was Robin Williams, a la Genie of the Lamp, telling Aladdin, "Careful, they spit." Nothing to be afraid of. Well, except maybe for the few yellowjackets buzzing around. Still, nothing to blog about.
Except for when we got to the leopard.
A beautiful, exotic creature. A cat. Gorgeous. Disdainful of me. What's not to like?
Tax Deduction the Elder thought the leopard was uber cool. So he gets up close. Said leopard is still safely tucked behind flimsy-looking bars, so no worries, right?
The cat's head snapped up when TDTE got close, and it made eye contact. And I swear that I heard its salivary glands go ballistic. TDTE loped around the cage...and the leopard paced him, never breaking eye contact. It had a distinct "Pass the ketchup" look about it.
In that moment, All That Is Maternal kicked in, and I suggested to my precious four year old that we go look at the bears. Heck, how dangerous could they be? They sleep for something like three months at a pop, right? As I bundled him off to see Yogi, the leopard shot me a look. I don't speak fluent Feline, but even I can recognize disappointment. Especially when it's in the form of a growl. Eek.
There've been times when I've felt like a million bucks. There've been times when I've felt like complete crap. This was the first time in my life that I ever felt like food.
Book Buzz of the Day
It's Saturday, July 16, 2005, and you know what that means, kids. We all get our hands on the Half-Blood Prince. Personally, my money's on Mr. Weasley, Ron's dad, being the titular character. Why the hell not? I think this book's only about a million pages, so I should be done with it before TDTE goes to college.