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The Zoo
The Zoo: On the Prowl

By Lady Zurk
(May 24, 2001)

Well, it's been a while, and I guess I owe an apology to anyone who has been waiting to hear what the inmates have been up to lately. I have a lot of excuses, but not really many good reasons for laying low.

One excuse for my recent silence is that I have been being held captive by the feral kneecap-biters. It's amazing how deceptive those little critters can be. When one first looks at them, the first impression is of curly blonde hair and big, angelic blue eyes. And then the reality check arrives in the form of their characteristic, sanity stealing screech.. "MOMMEEEE!!!!" Oh wow. The Horrors... I have been on duty with these little savages since my school semester has ended, and I can't wait until my new job begins. Ahhh Sweet Relief!

Therein lies another excuse for my negligence to the Zoo. I have been on the prowl for a job. How humbling to have to go up to complete strangers and try to convince them that YOU are the ONLY person qualified to squeeze those salmon, wipe those butts, or wallow in that manure 12 hours a day in the sun.

Actually, the job I got is working as a convenience store clerk, but I doubt that I will revise my resume to include it. It will be a good job, in my own neighborhood, for enough money to pay for the daycare I need to use to cover my summer college classes. All in all, I guess I am pretty fortunate. Besides, what better place to observe human nature at its most perverse than at the closest gas station to the biggest casino in the Midwest?

Another reason that I have been buried under the seething mass of kneecap-biters is that, thank the powers that be, Wally was called back to work. For a while there, things were pretty hairy on the financial front at the Zoo. Now, with the both of us back to work, maybe we will be able to splurge and buy some sausage or something different to eat besides pancakes with maple syrup and venison. Just kidding, we do eat other things, but those little ones were looking mighty tasty.

Speaking of food, (shhh stomach!), have any of you ever tried to plant a garden with a two-year old and a four-year old trying to help? Wally has so much more patience than I. We have been planting the vegetable and flower beds, and trying to get grass to grow where we tore the yard up to build the house. Of course, the little muffins want to be right in it, so we let them plant the big seeds, like pumpkins and peas, and try to sneak out to plant carrots and the like when the kids are busy on the swing-set.

Unfortunately, every time Wally or I even look at the garden or flower boxes, the little trolls come bumbling over and anxiously (and repeatedly) ask, "What are you doing?" "Can I help?" "Why did you do that?" "Wahhhh, Barbara hit me, and it HURTED!!"

But there are fun parts to gardening with the little ones too. Wally let them plant the potato sets, because who cares if the row is crooked? The spuds still grow. The young 'uns also "helped" me mulch the flower beds for Mother's Day, and planted a cherry tomato plant in a pot for their grandma, Wally's mom. When she'll ever get it is beyond me, but that would be up to Wally, 'cuz it was his idea, and besides, she's not my mama.

I have to make a confession. I really have been having a lot of fun spending more time with the kids. When I was working 60 hours a week in the factory, or we were building the house, or I was up to my ears in academic alligators with college, I often felt sad that I wasn't spending more time with my babies. Ok, enough sappiness. Tomorrow I start the new job, so I am going to go enjoy the last day that I will have to myself in quite a while, and in the future, I will make more time to let y'all know what's new at the Zoo.

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