SOMETHING TELLS ME IT’S ALL HAPPENING AT THE ZOO
The monkeys stand for honesty
Giraffes are insincere
And the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb
Orangutans are skeptical
Of changes in their cages
And the zookeeper is very fond of rum
Zebras are reactionaries
Antelopes are missionaries
Pigeons plot in secrecy
And hamsters turn on frequently
What a gas
Ya gotta come and see
At the zoo
At the zoo
At the zoo
Today I had the honor of joining the convoy of minivans that transported my daughter’s preschool class to the zoo. Four
small children, securely strapped into their booster seats, happily
munched popcorn and crackers from plastic baggies while I navigated the
Seattle morning traffic. Little Bit asked me a salient question:
“How come when we go to the zoo from school it’s a ‘field trip,’ but when we go from home it’s just ‘going to the zoo?’”
A discussion of the
varied meanings of the word “field” ensued, during which my child
insisted that a field could only possibly be a broad expanse of grass
on which children run and twirl during recess.
At the zoo, two volunteer docents delivered a brief lesson on the tropical rainforest, and then took us on a tour. We visited a rainforest building which was hot and humid and contained snakes, poisonous frogs, ocelots and toucans. I
alternately admired the critters and prevented small children from
bolting through the doors back to the familiar cold, wet, temperate
rainforest that is the Pacific Northwest.
The highlight of the
trip was the jaguar, who paced rapidly back and forth in front of the
viewing window to amuse the children even though he had lots more space
out of view in which to frolic. It was not clear whether or not he had an official “field” on which to twirl during jaguar recess.
On the way back, the
children in my vehicle discussed what they might do if kids were in
charge and grown-ups had to follow their directions. They all agreed that they would require the grown-ups to poop in their pants. In fact, the idea struck them as so hilarious they all giggled hysterically for the duration of the trip.
And that is why children should not be in charge, but should be taken regularly to the zoo.