I was wandering around the Calgary Zoo. I hoped that the visit would cheer me. I started my zoo day, as I usually did, with a visit to the tigers. They weren’t out today. So I wandered down to see the elephants1. I got lucky. Their keepers were putting the elephants through their paces. Kamala was easily lifting a giant, black rubber ball with her trunk. The keeper was explaining why elephant dung was so dry. Too much information. The other two elephants, Swarna and Maharani, were waiting in the wings so to speak. I watched them pick up giant logs which must have weighed 500 pounds each. Toss them around like proverbial match sticks. The show ended and I moved along.
I heard the shrill call of a male peacock. I grinned to myself thinking of how my son could imitate that call so exactly. I made a mental note to invite him out to a movie. I wove my way through the cluster of strollers and soccer moms to the flamingo pond. There he was. As proud as, well, a peacock. Proudly displaying his tail feathers. I snapped a photo with my digital camera. I moved on deciding I had enough of the zoo today.
I crossed the bridge over the Bow. And decided to visit the Dinasor park. I had not toured it a long time. I wondered it there were anything new.
I stared up at the giant Tyranasaurus Rex as it emited a loud roar. Some of the toddlers surrounding me started crying. Why the hell did their parents bring them here. I wouldn’t bring my kids and scare them, I thought, or would I?. I had never seen him before. The animatronic T-Rex had recently been introduced as a key attraction to the Dinosaur Park at the Calgary Zoo. I thought it was amazingly realistic realistic. I wouldn’t want to be munched by him. Or would I?
It was just 49 days till I hit the wall.
An excerpt from CRASH! Memories of a Healing Journey, Lyle T. Lachmuth, All Rights Reserved
1The trio of elephants who graced the zoo for years was transferred to the Smithsonian National Zoo in May of 2014.