Monday, May 23, 2005

Human zoo

Sunday toward the end of afternoon and the zoo is filled with people. My friend A. and I came here for a stroll. We have to fight our way through people.
We pass the "Great cats", the "Great Apes" which prompted my friend A. to ask if there was something called "the so-so reptiles" house, and we are on our way to the cheetahs.
A. is pushing his scooter, sometimes sliding on it, sometimes just pushing it. The scooter is clearly capturing some kid's imagination. A young boy, about 8 or 9, comes up to us and asks A. "Is this an electric scooter?" His mother is rushing toward us with a younger boy, maybe 4 or 5, in tow. "No", says A., "this is a standard scooter, just much smoother that the one you're used to". The kid's eyes opened and he launches in a long monologue where it appears that he has been lobbying his mom for some times to buy an electric scooter. "It goes so much faster", he says longingly.
The mom is trying to excuse the kid's behavior. She calls after him and his younger brother, tell them not to disturb us any longer. I don't mind. A. neither. We both enjoy these unexpected discussions with people in the streets. The kid follows his mom but runs back suddenly with a shout "I have another question!". We laugh and A. answers once more time on the advantages of a non-electric scooter. The boy runs back to his mother. We go on to visit the cheetahs. They have grown so much, I can't recognize them. They've lost their baby cuteness. We all go through this, and it's their turn. They're just small cheetah now.


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8:59 PM  

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