Saturday, May 14, 2011

elephants' balls

last friday, i was given another opportunity to help chaperone ella's class on a trip. this time we ventured to riverbanks zoo. i truly relish the opportunities i get to spend time with ella in her school environment, and i have a lot of fun hanging out with her classmates. this trip, four kids, including ella, were my responsibility at the zoo. one kid's nickname is speedy, so you know that this experience was nothing short of exciting. (in fact, i didn't even know what speedy's real name was before this outing; he's that famous.) actually, speedy was easier to keep up with than the girls. the other three were lollygaggers and day dreamers, and one kept following the beat of her own drummer, which made her a little difficult to manage. in the end, though, no one got lost, and we even got to help a little boy find his own mommy, thanks to none other than my boy speedy.
because we are members, i take my kids to the zoo a lot. having visited with the animals so often, i've developed quite an affection for certain residents. i love the gentle natures of the koala bears, the sweet and calm personalities of the giraffes, and the ability of the grizzlies to scare the you know what out of me despite the fact that (i hope) there's no way that they can get to me. i enjoy visiting with the gorillas and desperately want to apologize to them and set them free. my all time faves are the giant galapagos tortoises, mainly because they're so freaking old, yet they have the sexual drive of college students. seriously, those things are always, um, busy. always. i've never seen them not "busy."

anyways, when we got to the zoo, my group headed directly for the siamangs, who were on their worst behavior, which makes them some of the best friends to visit. their whooping intrigued my kids, and ella and speedy had a blast matching them whoop for whoop. even the siamangs seemed to be impressed. it was like taking monkeys to the zoo to visit the zoo.

another great part of our trip was getting to talk with the kids and see them absorb everything in their environment. and i love hearing the crazy stuff that creeps out of their mouths. seriously, you have to be on your toes because you never know what they're going to say or how it's going to come out. one little girl had attended zoo camp the previous summer, and she shared with me her experiences with the elephants.

butterfly chaser #2: "last summer we got to hang out with the elephants."

me: "how awesome! what did you do?"

butterfly chaser #2: "we got to play with their big balls."

me: "what!?!?"

butterfly chaser #2: "yeah, the elephants have these great, big balls."

me: what!?!?

butterfly chaser #2: "yeah, they have all of these cool big balls to play with."

me: "oh." sigh. phew. "how neat!"

clearly, my mind was in the gutter. i had only known the elephants at riverbanks to sniff around in the dirt, splash water on their backs, and drop massive piles of dung all over the place. i'm glad to know that they also get to play with balls and other things for entertainment. really, butterfly chaser #2's comment won't soon be forgotten, though. that's some funny stuff. elephant balls.

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