Monday, May 4, 2009



Turtle Back Zoo, Scene Two

An incident at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey, last week reminded me of a similar – but more scary one – that happened several years ago when I was eight months pregnant with my youngest child. My husband and I and our two young children were in the petting zoo where we’d gotten feed for the chickens, the llamas, the goats and the sheep. My son and daughter delighted in putting out their little hands spilling with food pellets for the animals. When I decided to do the same, however, three large llamas rushed toward me. Fearful of being jumped on or knocked to the ground, I threw the pellets into the air and fled.


Fast forward to the same petting zoo last week. Dante, a Belgian draft horse, walked over to the fence where I was standing with my granddaughter, Maeve. She stepped back, somewhat apprehensive. As I turned to reassure her, Dante startled me as he began nibbling on my sleeve. This time I laughed, as did Maeve.