Friday, March 7, 2008

The Facts of Life

By Tracy Winegar
One of the rare outings that we go on as a family is a very regular trip to the zoo. My son Luke is a somewhat difficult child in public, leaving us no choice but to choose the zoo as our activity, something that he can actually enjoy and handle. As a matter of fact we have the season pass because we figured it would save us a nice chunk of change, since we frequent the establishment so much. He’s always had a fascination with animals. It has, however, been our sad misfortune as of late to have several run ins with the tragic facts of life.
It was only a month or so ago that we went rather early, early enough that the reptile house had just barely opened its doors to the public. There in one of the cages was the sweetest, fluffiest little bunny rabbit you’ve ever laid eyes on curled up in the RATTLE SNAKE’S CAGE! My daughter innocently asked, “Mom, why is that little bunny sleeping in the snake’s cage?” It was then that my husband had to explain that the bunny was not sleeping, that it was breakfast. She was devastated. She cried through the remainder of the exhibits inconsolably.
More recently, just last week as a matter of fact, we were standing in front of the crocodile exhibit. The frighteningly large reptile floated like a piece of drift wood in the water just behind the protective glass barrier. Nearby the immense, cold blood creature bobbed a plastic ball, carried to and fro with the movement of the water. In slow motion the crocodile dropped his lower jaw, ever so slowly rising to the surface of his concrete pond and then sprang towards us at lightening fast speed, lunging at the ball, and snapping it between its dangerously sharp teeth. The sudden violent movement made us all cry out and jump back in terror. My son, who speaks as seldom as is permitted, has been saying all week, “The alligator bit the ball.”It reminded me of when he saw the National Geographics special on lions, and witnessed a lioness attacking and devouring a zebra. He seemed very concerned for the zebra as he exclaimed, “Ouch! Are you OK?” So here it is, one of the unfortunate facts of life, dinner is whatever is available. Hopefully you’re the one eating and not being eaten!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The World needs more lovely families like yours. Good Job!!