Day 51 - Monster in the Zoo / by Edward Crim

It was the fog that invited me to Forest Park this morning. The day was full of chores: crawling out of bed to walk Rigby in the crunchy frozen rain that covered my corner of the planet, persuading Rebecca to leave the house so I could drop her off at school, nursing my aching back with a long hot shower and getting a load of laundry started in the washer. That’s when I noticed the fog.

About 9 was when it really set in, as warm air moved over the cold, cold earth. I had a client coming by for a photo session at 10, so I was heading to the studio when Forest Park called my name. Everything was magical; the trees, the roads, the grasses. I rode east on Wells Drive toward the Zoo, past the picnic pavilions, across Tamm Avenue, down under the bridge from the parking lot to the Zoo’s South Entrance, and up the hill beyond. That’s where I slammed on my brakes. There was a hideous monster, much like some ancient reptile, slamming its head against the arena where Lions and Sea lions used to perform. Most of the arena was already down, debris strewn around the tracks of the roaring machine, belching black smoke and swinging madly against the weakened structure. 

I backed up to get a better view and sat in the drive, my blinkers on, and watched, fascinated, as the jaws of the beast opened and shut, lifting the rubble of the arena and throwing it over its shoulder. I really want one of those things! Cars zoomed around me as I sat for five minutes, resolutely blocking the drive and snapping over 60 photos of the delightful destruction. I’ve got to have one of those things!

But reality asserted itself, responsibility tapped me on the shoulder, and necessity pressed the gas pedal and release the clutch and my little blue truck rolled on. Near the Jewel Box is where it stopped and tossed me out for more photos. The fog by this time was not quite London worthy, but it was photogenic, and I was hooked.

Where the wild things are.

Where the wild things are.