Monday, July 28, 2008

Choo Choo at the Zoo: Developments at the Virginia Zoo

Every zoo needs a train. Thanks to Norfolk Southern, I guess the Virginia Zoo is about to have one. Did you know about this? Apparently we haven't been to the zoo for a while. We also didn't know about the piglets and about the new eagle roosts and a whole bunch of other things. Shade garden! Whoa! Step back! HOLD ME DOWN.

The zoo is torn up in preparation for the train -- they're laying tracks and providing stations and whatever else a zoo train needs to be happy and successful. Enlightening.

I remember when the zoo had a building with giant glass walls where the elephants and rhinos lived, and they had fenced paddocks to run in and those cement and glass cages to eat in. I remember thinking that the rhino was really completely huge. Unexpectedly so. I mean, I would have thought a rhino was the size of a couple of horses, but not eight horses. That was when I was pregnant with Benny and before I became a homeschool mom and educated myself on the relative size of rhinoceruses and equines. Now I know everything about everything and would never be caught off guard on such a mundane topic as the mass of a rhino. Obviously.

The zoo train looks AWESOME. I can't wait to ride it. Another change:

Benny was delighted to find that there are new signs at the crossroads.

He took great pains to elaborately explain these signs to Sadie. He also went through the entire zoo "playing" the animals, making them talk to Sadie in different funny voices. She never got tired of saying, "My name is SADIE!" when the monkey or meerkat or buffalo said "Hey, there, little girl. Welcome to my exhibit! What's your name?" It was so darling and charming, it made my heart ache to hear it. He's such a good big brother, such a great playmate for her, so entertaining and also educational. Well sort of...

Benny: Look, Sadie, it's a LIZARD! A lizard from South America!
Some Girl Standing Nearby (with irritation): It's a gecko. A gecko.
Benny (kindly): Oh, it's okay. She doesn't know that word. It's just easier for her to hear the word lizard, because that's what she knows.

Thanks Benny. Thanks for shielding your sister from strange and disturbing words like "gecko."
One issue I have with the universe:

I'm really irritated with that one person who is always at the zoo, and always trailing my family, you know the I AM A ZOO MEMBER AND A MEMBER OF THE ZOO person? Who, like, calls all the animals by their proper names and remarks on the growth of each plant and tree and sighs fondly and refers to the lion as "Oh, my baby!" There was this woman, and she descended on the piglets with her smug daughter in tow, and she was all, "OH, look at our babies! See how they have grown! Now where's my favorite? Where's my favorite one? Oh THERE he is! There is my favorite!"

It's like translation this: "I am a zoo member and visit often because I am a member of the zoo and so in my frequent, frequent visits I have become very familiar with all aspects of this zoo of which I am a member!" You know what, lady? No one cares. Homeschoolers get in free at the zoo. Side note: The exact same behavior in a person under the age of 16 would not be intolerable -- in fact it would be adorable.

Yeah, I'm probably just cranky. After all, I haven't been at the zoo since all this train madness erupted. Maybe I *am* missing something. I'm so totally unaware of the piglets' names. But I do know that one of them pooped in their water pan. So, they're not my babies. Not really.

In other news, read about what we did today at Shez's Homeschooled Twins.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:43 AM

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is one of your funniest.