Today, Annette came by to pick me up in her little blue pickup truck so we could go to the zoo. It was very cold outside and the roads were slippery, but Annette was not at all afraid.
“What animals would you like to see at the Zoo?” I asked her.
“¡¡Elephants!!” she answered rather emphatically.
“The elephants aren’t out in the winter time, Annette. Where they come from it doesn’t get as cold as it does here. They get to go to Miami and lie on the beach when it is winter in Saint Louis. We could go see the polar bear, or the sea lions, or the penguins, or the birds in the bird house.”
“¡¡Elephants!!” shouted Annette, so we went to see the polar bear, the sea lions, the penguins, the gorillas, orangutans, some very noisy birds and some very quiet reptiles and amphibians. The sea lions were a big hit with the little lass, the penguins she thought to be a bit too loud, the polar bear made her a bit nervous and I had to coax her up to the glass. The Gorillas and orangutans were a big success, which was reassuring. We wound up hustling through the bird house due to the loud squawks from some of the birds. Annette didn’t much care for that and covered her hears with her mittened hands.
We wound up zipping through the herpetarium looking for frogs. I shouted things occasionally, things such as “Don’t pet the gila monster!” and “Hands off the rattlesnake!”, and Annette swooped from exhibit to exhibit looking for frogs. We did find the Mountain Chicken, which is not a chicken at all, or even a bird, as the Prairie Chicken is, but amphibian and a very large frog native to certain islands of the Caribbean. It’s major problem is that it is large and tastes like chicken.
Then it was time for ice cream. Now here’s a suggestion for you; do NOT buy an ice cream cone at the Lakeside Cafe in the zoo. They are sold in a bag, the cone is soggy, the ice cream is not good enough to entice a 4 year old to finish it and it costs $3.50. Sigh. I decided to think that I had made a contribution to the zoo and they had given me a receipt in the form of one of last year’s left over ice cream cones.
It was snowing as we left, and we played STOP and GO and LEAP on the sidewalk outside the zoo as the flakes came tumbling down around us. It’s a jolly holiday with you, dear.