Posted by: nhfalcon | September 1, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh, My!

This past Thursday Cookiemaker and I took Little Man to a kinda-sorta local zoo / amusement park. Even though Little Man started getting tired and cranky towards the end (hey, what do you want from somebody who’s not even four years old yet?), we all had a pretty good time. The drive wasn’t unbearable, the prices for tickets and food was tolerable, the weather was perfect (sunny, dry, mid-70’s), the wait in line to get in was reasonable, and we didn’t have to deal with any a-holes the whole day, which is pretty remarkable considering the number of French-Canadian tourists in the area. 🙂

The title of this post is not just a movie reference – there really were lions, tigers (including a white one), and bears (black bears) there. There were also elephants, black leopards, ostriches, emus, many different kinds of monkeys, bison, kangaroos, and alligators. Little Man got to feed ducks and deer and also got to touch a pretty good-sized boa constrictor.

After seeing all the animals and having some lunch, we went on a few rides. We tried the ferris wheel and the merry-go-round and a little kiddie roller coaster.

Allow me a little aside here for a moment before I reveal my Observation of the Day. Yes, I’ve been a dad for almost four years now, and I like to think I’m fairly decent at it. That being said, there’s an enormous amount I think I don’t know about fatherhood, so don’t be surprised if my Observation of the Day strikes you as being silly.

Observation of the Day: either Little Man has a lot more courage than I expected out of a not-quite-four-year-old, or I’m a bigger wuss than I thought. He didn’t freak out when hordes of ducks charged him for food, nor did he panic when deer as big or bigger than he approached him for sustenance. Now I know ducks and deer are not intimidating creatures, but this was the first time he’d interacted with them live, so who knew what to expect? He was only mildly reticent about touching the big snake. We happened to get to the alligator pen just as a big one was coming out of the water towards the wall, and he didn’t even flinch. He had a look of mild consternation when the merry-go-round started, but once he saw that no one else was freaked, he started enjoying himself and pretending he was a knight.

The kicker was the ferris wheel. He went on it twice. The first time he went with Mommy and he enjoyed himself immediately. The second time he went with Daddy, and it was Daddy who had to consciously think to himself, ‘OK, don’t freak out in front of your son. You’re not that high up. This is perfectly safe…’

Maybe I’m just the big wuss, huh? 🙂



  1. *grin*

    I kind of freak out on amusement rides, too. My problem is that I can associate the kinds of people who run (and, ostensibly, maintain them) with how safe I feel.

    I didn’t know that the York zoo was still open. Good to know. We went there a few years ago and had a wonderful time (though we didn’t do any rides). I remember being struck by how incredibly fast wolves can run. One of them was lapping the (rather large) enclosure they had set up for them, and I remember thinking that it wouldn’t even be worth it to try to escape if they got you in their sights in the wild – just lay down and offer up your throat…

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