At the Zoo

We got to see Nanita and Marqueño over the weekend, so we bundled ourselves off to the zoo. I am not in this picture because I was the one taking it:


Robin was really into the elephants, the otters, and the parrots (although he was disappointed that they didn’t talk). Davy reacted most strongly to the tigers. He tried his hardest to fling himself into the tiger enclosure, shouting to them joyfully and reaching out, bucking against the people who were holding him. When we put him down, he tried to climb the fence. The rest of us thought Davy should not be thrown to the tigers, and so we cruelly strapped him into his stroller and wheeled him away. He never quite recovered from the betrayal.

Robin had a lot of fun in the kids’ section of the zoo, petting the goats and climbing on the statuary:


They have a really clever little installation near the giant tortoise habitat, which is just cast models of empty tortoise shells that the kids can climb through. Both Robin and Davy loved playing at being tortoises. Here’s Robin peering out from inside the shell:


And Sam got a good picture of one of the real tortoises, ambling along. They have a strange presence about them, gawky and yet weirdly majestic; I have no idea how old this one is, but because of the wrinkles and the slow, deliberate movements they all give the impression of great age, and immense wisdom. They’re probably dumb as stones, I dunno.


The night after our trip, I dreamed about tortoises that had the ability to float. They drifted up effortlessly into the sky, as if their shells were balloons. Only I was taking care of a baby tortoise that couldn’t quite float properly yet, so I tied a string around it before coaxing it to go up and join its herd. And then I just sat there, holding on to the string, watching my baby tortoise as it grazed with the others among the clouds. When I woke up I remembered the feeling of serenity and the striking image of the floating tortoises; it wasn’t until just now, typing up this post, that I realized the dream must’ve had to do with Robin in the shell. Of course that’s what every mother wants—to see their babies soar, but also to keep one end of that string. Embarrassingly literal, really! But it was still a nice dream.

One Response to “At the Zoo”

Leave a Reply