Posted by: soulvoyager | August 6, 2010

Excursion to the Zoo

Wow, my last post sounded like a rather macabre tale, didn’t it? I certainly hope it didn’t frighten you. Come, come! Take a short interlude from all that somberness and join me at the zoo! Aww… come on. The sun’s too damaging for your skin? Zebras and chimpanzees too unsophisticated for the cool dudes out there? I say, think again… When was the last time you made a trip to the zoo anyway?

For me, it seems like eons ago. No kidding! The last time I went was probably on an excursion with my class in primary school. The moment Mommy signed on the dotted line of the consent form, I could barely contain my excitement. I was practically craning my neck for the day to come. I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Needless to say, the day before the excursion, I spent a sleepless night fantasizing about all the animals I would be visiting, looking forward to all the packed lunches and biscuits with my friends, and rejoicing about how great it was to skip one morning of school for a whole dollop of fun, fun, and more fun.

I don’t know when that unsullied, innocent child-like fervor was soon replaced by cynicism, laziness, and procrastination. How I have changed over the years. In primary school, I loved to dance and sing. In fact, I was in the choir and I would happily volunteer to dance in front of the school. I would compose songs and stage mini-musicals with my sister for our beloved Mum and Dad. But over the years, I became more and more jaded. I guess that part of it was due to a loss of confidence in my own abilities. The other part was due to wanting to blend in with the rest. If others deemed a national day song as too cheesy to be sung, I would feel too embarrassed to sing it out loud as well. If my friends avoided school mass dances like a plague, I would follow suit too. But I must admit, there is a tiny part of me that longs to sing, dance, and caper around, foolish as I may look, simply because I love it!

I had soon condemned zoos as suitable for only two groups of people – kids and tourists. But what’s the common thing between them? They both have an inquiring mind, an eager heart, and open eyes to explore the world out there and to learn new things. If you fit that description, then you’re good and set to go on a trip to the zoo with me! So pack your water bottles, put on your cap, and let’s go!

Ooh… do you see what I see? A frisky troop of Hamadryas baboons hailing all the way from the great rift valley of Ethiopia!

A little baboon lost blissfully in his own lala-land…

With heads bowed low, a whole gang of them taking a lazy afternoon siesta…

A matronly figure looking on fondly, her toes dipped in the cool water as the young ones scamper around playfully…

Papa and Mama monkey caring tenderly for their little one… Check out their swollen, red bottoms!

Watching this scene just melted my heart to bits. Isn’t this what love is about? Sharing and helping one another? Even baboons know how to do this instinctively. Do we humans do it as much as they do?

A bird perched on a rock, flaunting her magnificent wings…

Drats! I should have written down the names. My sincere apologies but I forgot what this creature is called. I need to ask Sleepypig or anyone kind enough to tell me. Help!

Oh, don’t worry. I know this animal. I haven’t forgotten my primary school science. The tall, spotted giraffes towering over us! How nice it would be to have such a birds’ eye view of everything.

A kangeroo looking like it’s scratching its leg. Hmm… do kangeroos itch too?

The agile cotton-top tamarin…

Apparently, other monkeys help each other pick their ticks too.

Oh, I simply adore these arboreal creatures – the orang utans! They are so, so, so cute! Pardon my high-school girlish squeals. I am seldom this way. But I am really amazed at how human-like these orang-utans are! Their behavior mimics us so much, it’s almost like they’re just a hairier version of us.

A little orang-utan hungrily eyeing the food in the other’s hand…

Hmm… he looks a bit disgruntled, doesn’t he? Guess he didn’t manage to get the food…

Phew! All’s well that ends well. They made up again with a light, heartwarming smooch. Looks like orang utans aren’t afraid to display their affection publicly.

A baby orang utan clinging to Mama for all it’s worth…

This one’s just contented to be munching on his own grub, unperturbed by all the pandemonium around him…

The slippery otters sliding back and forth…

Wobbly penguins waddling happily in their aquarium…

Grunting pigs, their wrinkled skin enveloped by a layer of mud half-baked and crusty under the scorching sun…

Polar bears with their coat of fur as white as snow…

Hmmpf… some white rhinos are just too stuck-up to grant us an audience. Fine! Don’t look this way then!

Still too busy feasting on their bed of grass to bother about us.

That small black bird was happily pecking away at a bloody-red wound on the rhino’s back. Yikes! That definitely sent shivers down my spine.

Mr Tortoise chomping down his veg at his usual unhurried pace…

The zebras ever so striking…

Just look at that white tiger strutting majestically across the log! What an awesome catwalk in the full literal sense of the word!

Deers, graceful and slender, grazing in a distance…

As I traipsed along in the zoo, I suddenly remembered a song I loved to sing when I was little – “Home on the Range”

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
There seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

Chorus
A home, a home
Where the deer and the antelope play,
There seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

How often at night when the heavens are bright
With the light from the glittering stars
Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours.

As a little girl, I loved the lyrics so much because it represented all of what I dreamed of… a home right next to glittering streams, prancing antelopes, and endless fields of wild flowers, where no one mutters a word of discouragement, and where the sun’s radiant beams chases away any hint of despair.

What is your dream home? And what is your favorite animal?

I guess you already know what’s mine. Here’s the adorable me and the even more adorable monkeys! Hehe… =P

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”

~ Tom Stoppard ~

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”

~ Elizabeth Lawrence ~

I hope you enjoyed our mini excursion to the zoo as much as I did! Have a wonderful week ahead, dearies! Tata for now!

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Responses

  1. Love that you posted a pic of yourself!!! I want more pics of you please! 😀

    The last time I visited the Singapore Zoo, I was half asleep…I was so bored! But how is it that you manage to make me want to visit again? Haha!

    Sigh. I miss you, Valerie!

  2. hi sweetie, the creature is a mongoose…


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