A Day Remembered
A few years ago now, Jaye and I decided to visit a zoo; it was more like a safari park without the need for a car. Jaye read that there would be a display by an orca, a black and white whale. The Ying and yang of the ocean, I call them.
When we arrived, we found that this would take place at 2 o clock that afternoon.
We walked around for a while. Jaye found a group of people listening to a man talking about one of her favourites. He was holding an arachnid, a huge orange and black spider. Of course, she wanted to be able to hold it right after he had said that it could shoot stuff from its black bulbous backside that would irritate the skin. Plus, it had a venomous bite.
Jaye tried to get me to take it from her hand. No chance, I thought. What if it is fed up being poked, prodded, and decided that I was the one to take a bite out of?
I watched her cooing over it like a fluffy white rabbit. Finally, I told her I had to find something with fewer legs. Walking around with 2 o clock in mind, we found one of my favourite animals. The sloth.
I thought cats were laid back and knew how to relax. This beautiful creature takes the biscuit. They live life in the slow lane, plus they only need to pee once a week. These days I could do with that skill.
A few paces along, we found the pandas lying on their backs as though sunbathing. We stood watching, and I swear they didn’t even blink.
I walked away, thinking they looked like stuffed toys and were not very entertaining. Whenever I see them on TV, they roll around and practice play fighting. Maybe they were tired.
Next, we found the giraffes, magnificent animals. I wouldn’t want to get on their bad side. I kept my distance while Jaye fed one, remembering when they get fed up being stared at, they spit at you. I didn’t fancy walking around for the rest of the day with gloop all over me.
Further along, we found a moth-eaten gorilla. Nothing like the one I fell in love with while visiting Regents Park Zoo with my husband. His name was Guy. People would throw their cigarettes at him; he would place it between his fingers and pretend to smoke it. After a while, he would turn to his audience and let out a stream of hot water, letting them know what he thought of the faces staring at him.
He sadly died while having a tooth removed. A short while later, I heard he had been stuffed and displayed in a glass cage at the History Museum. Something told me I had to say goodbye to the beautiful creature I had fallen in love with, and standing there, lost in his eyes, I was in a world that only he could explain.
Next, we came to the snake house, something else I am fond of. Skipping past the bats, not one of my favourites, I made my way outside.
We found the camels. Desert taxis, I call them. Snooty-looking devils that can spit for the fun of it.
It was time to make our way back to the small pool. The first three rows were full of people. Fools, I told myself. Steering Jaye to the sixth row, I had no intention of getting soaked when the whale dove in and out of the water.
When the display was over, the whale would hug the poolside, and we were encouraged to touch it. Its skin felt like a rubber tyre. Jaye was at the mouth end, her hand in its mouth, touching its tongue between a magnificent row of white teeth. God, what if she made it gag, and it snapped his mouth shut on her hand?
Before persuading her that it was almost time to go home, there was one more stop. I’d heard they had an elephant. King of the jungle in my book.
We found him alone on a small island, chained to the wall, swaying back and forth. I knew this meant he was very unhappy as they are pack animals and need company. Why was he chained to a wall by himself? I couldn’t stop my tears. I wanted to pull the chain from the wall and set him free. But I knew it would take more than that. He would need care for a long time if he were to recover. This is proof that all creatures should live in their own environment.
I drove home, compiling a letter of complaint in my head, hoping that someone would see the error of their ways and get him the help and companionship that he needed.
My day out remembered…
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