Some friends and I took our kids, and met up at the Phoenix Zoo today. It was a perfect day. The sun was bright, but not too hot. The crowds were manageable. The animals, as always, were fascinating. It never ceases to amaze me as I study the complexity of each structure. The height and length of the giraffe, the zebra with it's perfectly painted stripes, the monkey...in all it's varieties. How can the squirrel monkey be so small, and yet, the oragutan (some of them) - so massive? And the baboon, what a strange, yet interesting, and captivating, creature. It's facial features, especially...the beady eyes, the colored nose, and the orange and blue fur which so perfectly, yet so peculiarly, surrounds the entire face. Then there's the flamingo. Today I couldn't get over the legs on those flamingos...I could hardly even believe that those stick like appendages were indeed, real. Ruby was equally as fascinated. We've been to the zoo before, but it wasn't until today that she actually had some understanding as to where we were, and the purpose of our visit.
As tired as she was, she totally did not want to leave. She cried the whole way out to the car, and I thought she (in true Ruby form) would be out, as in - completely asleep, within just a few minutes. Instead, on our drive home, she couldn't stop talking about the zoo, and the animals, and the snacks, and how nice her friends were. The best was when I asked her which animals were her favorites. She was in deep thought for a few moments, and then replied, "the lions, the tigers, and the snorts"...and she was totally serious. When I asked her what a snort was, she replied "well, it's a snort, you know". Apparently my mind was elsewhere when we visited the snort exhibit. I told her I'd make sure and pay more attention next time we go. As I got to thinking, however, I was reminded of a particular line in one of her Sandra Boynton books...rhinoceroses snort and snuff, and little dogs go ruff ruff ruff. We had, indeed, seen a couple of rhinos today; and I figured she may have just thought they were called snorts because of what it says in her book. I then asked, "Ruby, are you talking about the rhinoceroses?", and I couldn't help but laugh at her response, "oh yeah, that's right...the awesomenesses".