Saturday, July 23, 2005

When To Run. When To Wait.

Winston has befriended a young 2 year
old woman, Amazon. She is
the boy's favorite type. Blonde. Bossy.
Self-assured. Verbal. Her Mommy drives
and has the good taste to be named

Lucy. We go to the zoo a lot
It's even better than the t.v. show
64 Zoo Lane which CBeebies had
the bad taste to cancel.

We evacuated London
for Whipsnade Animal Park -
600 acres. 2,500 animals.

Roaming free about the park are Mara, Wallaby's,
some sort of very small deer and peacocks.
He has extremely distinct animal preferences
which I have been unable to define.

He did not care at all for the Sea Lions
who waved hello, clapped their flippers,
barked and bobbed their heads "hello."
Maybe they were too unnatural.

So we left Amazon and went to sit
with a Mara family. Hello Mara! He says
quietly, I'm Winston. How are you?
he sat talking to the Mara for 15 minutes.
This would become a theme for the day.
Many long, quiet conversations
with mara and Wallaby.

Amazon finished with the sea lions
and joined us. It is funny how toddlers
know how to take and give space. Satisfied
with their individuality. We managed

to come together again for the train
ride through the area housing Asian animals.
The two baby elephants pleased him greatly.
But - the yaks and abundant baby deer
became a whole new set of friends to woo.

We lunched with the peahens and peacocks.  
One cheeky peacock jumped up at someone's table
and was eating their mashed potatoes. 
This endeared the peacocks to him -
he was having trouble whether or not
to classify them as rude, big birds to be wary of
or exciting bird with whom to make friends.
Chickens and turkeys definitely belong in the
ugly mean scary bird category.

At this point we realized we didn't have to
walk the whole 600 acres. There was a bus.
So on we hopped just in time to get
to the penguins who were being fed -
definitely birds with whom Winston would like
to be on more intimate terms.

We walked a long wooded patch
where five Wallabies were having an outing
enjoying the panoramic view of the countryside.
Amazon wanted to see something else - so she
and Lucy wandered off to give Winston time
to befriend the Wallaby pack. Which he did
for almost 45 minutes, creeping slowly closer
until they ran. Introducing himself again
and creeping closer. Over and over.
becoming more controlled each time.
Slower each time. Quieter each time.
Until they could really have a good talk.

We rejoined Amazon. It was as if she had
never been that far. flowing through each other's
distance and re-connection. He was very excited
about the baby giraffe. Amazon needed the toilet.
We happened upon another Mara family.
He sat with baby Mara while they nursed.

The baby Rhino was more interesting
to me and Lucy. By the time
the Baby Rhino was close enough
to look in the eye - he and Amazon
were running up and down a hill.
The only danger we witnessed today
was when the zookeeper was weeding
the Rhino territory and the mother
and some of her friends thought
it would be interesting to charge them.  
She and her friends changed their minds
because the zookeeper was in a ditch.

Too much trouble for so little gain.
I guess it was better the children were running
up and down a hill. It takes patience
to be with animals. Relaxing into the interesting
moments. Appreciating the endless grass guzzling,
pooping, meandering about the field. Waiting
for the terror of a Rhino willing
to charge. A small breathing space

he is beginning to learn.
When to run and when to wait.

No comments: