Here I am in this cage with these birds, these colorful winged monsters flying around and over my head, chirping with their angry little greedy beaks. One particularly aggressive bird swoops down and steals a tiny white cup of nectar of a chubby fisted toddler, who starts to cry. I become even more nervous…
I am at the zoo with my daughter, I did my best at hiding my horror when she mentioned wanting to visit the lorikeet’s. She called them cute little birds, I call them flying demons from hell. Not wanting to disappoint her and most importantly, not to look like a big chicken in front of my kid, I agreed and came here of my own free will. I even shelled out a dollar for a cup of nectar.
Once inside the cage, I told myself lies to calm myself. Lies that rationalized the whole thing. Why would the zoo people put us in danger? I look around, lots of families and children. Everyone else seems O.K. with it.
After all I am an animal lover… And then the carnage begins.
Did I mention the sounds these birds make? Horrible screeching, their noise echoes throughout the enclosure. I am going into sensory overload which brings on a panic attack. My heart races, I start to sweat and all of a sudden, I feel dizzy and sick. I look around, everyone is having fun, no one notices my white knuckled fear. It is all I can do to keep up appearances as a calm rational adult human being. It soon becomes too much as a have to duck incoming artillery. I don’t want to be stuck walking around with bird shit on my head.
As I said , I am an animal lover. I have pets. I talk to squirrels and raccoons. I have even contributed to Greenpeace. But honestly, this is too much…I have to get out…Right now…
So we leave the nest of the wretched and to my amazement, my daughter never noticed how scared I was in that cage with those scary birds, a big chicken like me. I smile.
We proceed to the polar bears. One of my favorites, They seem so soft and cuddily…they would probably maul me if I tried to hug one though. I know I must keep my affections at a save distance and I admire their awesome strength and grace.
We see the silly penguins march around and watch the playful otters swim to and fro. The tall giraffes seem so lofty and majestic, the elephants look like wrinkled old wise men and the big cats nap in the afternoon sun. Except one, she paces.
What a striking animal. Full of beauty and grace but also full of raw animal power. Watch out!
“They are all sleeping” volunteers the zoo keeper, who amazingly can hear my thoughts. Sounds like a good idea, A nice relaxing late afternoon nap. I could use that after this long but fruitful day.