Category Archives: snapshot of my life
I spent a huge chunk of my life hanging out in a zoo in my hometown in Kansas.
One of my really great friends lived across the street. We were sort of twins for awhile, hanging out, spending every moment together we could carpooling to the nearest zoo in winter; in summer, we road our bikes. I loved the summer months. I’d wake up ready for the day, eat my bowl of Corn Chex (which is really weird because now I’m completely allergic to corn), throw on my blue volunteer shirt and leave my house every morning around 8:30 to pedal the four miles to the zoo. I’d stay there until noon, preparing animal diets, scooping unmentionable byproducts after breakfast, and shadow a basic zookeeper routine almost every day of the week. High noon struck and I’d ride my purple mountain bike back home, head to my friend’s house so I could turn around and accompany her to the zoo by 1:00. She’d spend the rest of the afternoon with the same zookeeper while I busied myself watching the chimps or the spider monkeys, typing in my observations into some really ancient computer. We’d head back to our houses at 4:00, she to hers and me to mine, where I spent the rest of my day far away from my bicycle and doing whatever else teenagers did in my day. ;0)
So at 13, I already had a different outlook about animals: charting behavior patterns of Chimpanzees, cleaning up after smiling singing dogs, dangerous Cassowaries while avoiding a pair of stalking vultures just waiting to jump on my back outside of an exhibit. Heckle and Jekyll. Perfect names right? I’m proud to say I even spent some time cleaning up after Hippos.
So in college, when I hung out with a Herpetology major for awhile, I don’t think my mom was shocked a bit by my new choice of pet: A Ball Python. I took it with me to college. I took it with me to class. I’d wrap him around my arm, throw on a jacket and most of the time, he’d sleep and no one ever knew. I didn’t think anything of it. I loved my snake. It was normal to me—but I guess, maybe I wasn’t all that normal to begin with. LOL.
One day, in the middle of the History of Architecture class, my snake woke up. He poked out his nose from underneath my sleeve and his little tongue flicked out tasting the air. A girl just sat down next to me in class. She screamed so loud and jumped about 4 rows of seats, hit the floor and ran wild from the room. I felt bad. Really I did. But I still loved that snake. He pulled his head back under my jacket sleeve and went back to paying total attention to himself.