August 20, 2009

36 Dollars

We spent 36$ in order to take our youngest son to the zoo the other day. 36$ for THREE of us.
He enjoyed the seals and the sea lions, but after that he only had eyes for the birds. We practically had to drag him away from the pink flamingos and their best friends, the ducks.
We looked at giraffes. Well, my husband and I did. When we looked down to talk to our son about their long necks and what they were eating, he was gone. He was across the way, looking at an ugly old vulture.
While my husband and I stood and laughed at a teenage baboon digging a hole in the ground with his back legs up over his head, our 7 year old ornithologist was watching the sparrows dart in and out, over and around the baboon.
We took him to see the kimono dragons. SOME of us admired their muscular legs and long claws. We were fascinated by the fact that those dragons can smell their dinner up to 2 miles away. (Sort of like me with chocolate, but that's beside the point.) While we were studying the dragon, my little boy was once again studying the sparrows fluttering around the dragon's lair.
He shuffled his feet and lethargically looked at the elephants, the zebras, and the red pandas. Forget those boring animals. Where are the robins and sparrows?
Finally we took him in to see the desert creatures and meerkats.
"Look Barrett! Look at the size of that tortoise!"
"Yeah, but mom, look at that zebra finch! He has a nest up there in the rocks!"
We tried to interest him in the bearded dragons, the iguana and some of the other lizards whose names I don't recall.

"Look at that quail! Can I have a quail for a pet? OH! That's the kind of finch I saw at the pet store! He's from Australia and costs 100$. Can I get that kind of finch for a pet?"

The meerkats only received a polite nod from his little head. Then he was looking up, looking for the tiny birds that fluttered over our heads.

Finally we decided to sit outside in the shade and cool off. That's when that little guy really came to life. The sparrows! Oh the sparrows! He darted around watching them, following them, laughing at them, and tossing bits of his Cliff Bar out to them. He laughed at a robin hopping along the ground, and chased off a black bird. (He was stealing food from the sparrows.)
There were sparrows everywhere; some of them nearly brushed our shoulders when they came in for a landing. Our son didn't know where to look so he looked everywhere at once. His head bobbed left, then right, then up, then he'd twirl around, trying to watch each and every bird all at the same time.
My favorite part of the day was watching him. However, next time I want to do that, I'm going to spend 36$ on birdseed and throw it and my son out into the back yard.