IT’S ALL HAPPENING … I DO BELIEVE IT’S TRUE
It’s been said that polar bears are on their way out. And not just like out of town. Like out of life as we know it. Extinct. That’s all folks. Au revoir and goodbye. This will not do! And nor would it do to be taken along as an accompaniment for one of them on such a journey …
There he stood, strong and sturdy, tall and furry as just such a bear should be, atop a flat marbled patch of rock. Easing down into the water from his post, he began a routine swim around and about in a long n’ lazy figure eight from one end of the the water’s edge to the other. Deviating abruptly from the established pattern, he suddenly headed straight towards me all bite and no bark as he bared a mouthful of angry teeth in a fitful snarl while swiping out with an enormous clawed paw lunging the brunt of his massive body- paper bag, please- at me! He then thumped off the glass barrier, the only thing keeping me from having been certain lunch. Stumbling back more than just a few feet, I stood in awe and a twisted kinda honor of sorts. Was it something I said? Guessing no more jokes about the bear, the priest and the rabbi …
Though a trip to the zoo turned up no further phenomenal attacks, it did yield an odd image, or two, for the sharing. Birds, rather, their skeletal little legs and creepy-claw feet tend to freak me out a bit at times. A distant childhood brings forth memories of friends allowing their pet birds to roam about the room uncaged only to land on a shoulder (me) or ponytail (mine). So, when crossing paths with the budgie exhibit, a mild case of apprehension arose.
Walked into a large room containing various trees filled with all kinds- parrots, parakeets and cockatiels. Purchased a wooden popsicle stick covered in many little seeds and held it straight out and up into the air. Soon a bird alighted on the stick and voila!- a front row seat to nature at its finest. My fine feathered friend wasn’t content to stay upon his wooden perch and instead eased up onto my finger. Creepy-claw-foot-skin-on-skin contact and I survived to tell of it! Found it a delight, in fact. Funny, my sister’s experience went a bit differently. Her budgie found her fingernails, her polish specifically, to be of great interest. Metallic yellow with a black criss cross pattern led the little bird to peck repeatedly at those nails more so than the provided snack. Ha! Made me sooooo glad to’ve stuck with the safe n’ sedate in-the-buff-stuff over the prior week’s pink polka dottage.
Caught a glimpse of emu bum. Almost as good as duck butt, but more mobile and located at a higher altitude. Only thing better? Synchronized duck butt!
Well, ding dong bell, is this not the oddest bit of ick one can happen across at the zoo? Was enjoying a hippo here, a potamus there, when a quick glance down revealed a pair of wings framing a natal star. A closer glance found the remains of what look to be the paws of a rodent amidst several other ratly bone fragments and a matting of fur. Think it’d make a- if not lovely, at least a conversational- brooch. Thought the aminals were supposed to be alive at the zoo.
In further death and decomposition, we arrived in time to view an eagle making mince meat out of a quail. Down dipped the beak, in for a moment, out and back up again with a mouth full of red while bits of innard trailed from beak to corpse below. Next stop? The snack stand.
Um … what’s this all about, I wonder? One can only imagine there’s a rogue baby that’s up and taken to the trees bound to emerge years later via news report as a sighting of yet another Saskwatchian yeti (see below).