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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feeling Special

I'll admit it.... I've always wanted to feel special. That's why when I was a kid I used to dress up like a princess EVERY-SINGLE-YEAR.... Or at least wear something that involved a crown. You just don't get more special than having a crown. I've always wondered what it would feel like to win backstage pass to a concert, be recognized for some act of bravery or win a medal for something. Go ahead and admit you probably feel the same way too.... deep down in your heart. On day two of our amazing vacation I got just a tiny taste of "special". The friends who went with us knew one of the handlers for the Bonobos and gorillas. Thanks to some phone calls and emails, we were able to go behind the scenes for a closer look. As the handler opened the gate I couldn't help but feel special as I noticed people glancing our way wondering why we got to go behind the gate that says "keep out". I'll admit it, It was a pretty good feeling (I know, I'm just shallow). I could sit and watch monkeys or gorillas all day long.  They are just so.... so..... human, except without human hang-ups (but they have plenty of their own I'm sure).  The first group we saw was the Bonobos.  When we entered we were standing over the habitat and there wasn't a Bonobo in sight.... Until the handler started calling out their names. In a flash they came scurring over the cliff and up the trees and ropes. It reminded me of the scripture that says "And the sheep follow him for they know his voice" (John 10:4). They came with the expectation that they were in for a treat. She threw the treats down for them and most of them scrambled after them with excitment, but some were more curious about the new visitors. One little lady in particular was full of personality. She climbed up on the highest pole and held her hand out as if to say
"I'll take some of that". If anyone could muster up a
pathetic sad face, she certainly could (a girl after my own heart). She was also a big flirt who had a
"thing" for men with facial hair. She knew if showing off her toes didn't get the job done then blowing them a great big kiss just might. She wasn't shy with her affections and she was adorable!!
The gorillas weren't as impressed with us, but they were just as interesting and hilarious in their own unique way. The great big Silverback called the shots especially when it came to sharing the treats. The baby of the family got away with stuff only a baby could. Since Daddy didn't want to share the treats the little one got bored and decided to take a gander to see if he could find anything of interest in Daddy's.... hmmm.... let's say Hiney. With the curosity of a child the little one parted the fir to examine Dad's rectum like a child looking through a kalidascope. Now if watching that doesn't make you laugh sister, nothing will.

It reminded me of when our kids were small and one of them had a habit of grabbing me around the knee then sliding their hand up... which isn't a big deal when you are a Mom.  One day we were standing in line in a very packed room, the child (who shall remain nameless) thought they were holding me around the knee as they began to absentmindedly slide their hand up my shorts. The problem was.... it wasn't me and the poor guy at the receiving end of the error just about jumped out of his skin with shock when that little hand ventured up. So yeah, I could sit and be amazed by the human nature of gorillas all day long.

Even though we didn't have backstage passes to the Panda's, it was still a precious sight. They are so beautiful they look almost fake. You just want to scoop them up and cuddle them.... They just look so sweet. The baby panda sat on a rock without a care in the world as the crowd stood in awe of how special he was.

It was a great day at the zoo! Being a big animal lover, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I was surrounded by my family and friends, and I felt special. It's the simple things in life that turns ordinary into extraordinary. It's as simple as having someone escort you through the gate that says "Keep Out"..... Those signs aren't for everybody, certain people are allowed in. Lucky for me, I got to be one of them.

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