Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the walrus incident

During our Saturday jaunt to the zoo, we spent a LOT of time looking at the marine mammals (we visited some of them three times). They were just that popular with certain members of our family, who may or may not have been looking for mermaids in the dolphin tank.

In any case, we noticed that Juliet wasn't having quite as much fun looking at the "underwater" view, i.e. where you're standing at eye level with the animals watching them swim by. She would start to whimper nervously and then rock back and forth uneasily. So one of us would step back a little from the exhibit with her while the other held Abigail up to the glass so she could see what was going on.

On our second trip through the marine mammals, it had been several hours since the last trip and we'd forgotten about Juliet's neurosis. The four of us were watching the walruses, and we were particularly fascinated by an ENORMOUS (I asked one of the zoo workers later and she said he was about 3000 lbs) walrus that would swim pretty close to the glass. I was holding Jules at that point, and I was standing about 6 inches away from the glass craning my neck to see the walrus. Neil, holding Abigail, was right next to me.

The four of us watched the walrus swim closer.

And closer.

And closer.

Any minute now, it would swerve away.

Except it didn't.

It smashed into the glass, RIGHT at eye level with both kids. I've never heard such terrified screaming in my life. And I must admit, I yelped and jumped back too. Three thousand pounds of walrus six inches from your face is pretty dang scary, especially when it's covered with bristling whiskers and has another nine feet of walrus behind it.

The children screamed all the way out of the exhibit. Both of them were trembling. Neil and I were shaking too, but with suppressed laughter. As we walked out, a woman selling stuffed walruses (Abigail took one look and started crying again) asked knowingly, "Oh, did Brutus come up to the glass again? He just loves kids!"

Poor walrus. Poor children.

It was probably the funniest thing that happened all day.


lanada said...

ok, now i have to email you something. considering your (awesome) story, i think you will appreciate it.

danielle said...

that is pretty funny...I can't wait to take our kids to the zoo some day. fun.

Meghan said...


Katrina said...

That is very funny. I would like to have seen it myself. :-)

tricki_nicki said...

So, it wasn't trying to get you guys? It just accidentally ran into the window?

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