Monday, January 19, 2009

A trip to the zoo

Have you heard of squeaker shoes? They're shoes for beginning walkers that have squeakers (like a dog toy) in the heels, supposedly to teach kids to walk on their heels instead of their toes. They weren't available here until recently, but my sister had purchased some in China for her daughters when they were there. She had a pair that were too small for daughter #2, so she sent them to my daughter.

A year ago last fall, I took my daughter to the zoo. We have a great zoo and I like to go pretty often, but I think this was only our second trip. She was just starting to walk, and the only shoes she had were squeaker shoes. We were going through one of the habitats that included a bunch of different animals, like warthogs, elephants, hippos, and cheetahs. It was a perfect autumn day...temperature in the upper 60's, sunny, and pleasant. I was pushing the stroller along the trail, and we came to a rather flat, straight, and not very occupied section. We stopped to check out the cheetahs. They were all lolling about, sleeping in the sun. There was one sitting upright, keeping an eye on the neighborhood. My daughter seemed uninterested in the cheetahs, but she was getting a little antsy, so I put her down to let her walk for a while.

Off she went...squeak, squeak, squeak...she turned around to look for mommy and smile. Squeak, squeak...Mommy notices that all of the cheetahs have abandoned their sleeping and are sitting up and looking around...squeak, squeak...uh-oh, maybe these shoes have the same effect on cheetahs that they would have on dogs...squeak, squee-time to get back in the stroller before those cheetahs think they've found lunch!

On we went, quickly, down the trail. Those cats were definitely looking for the lunch cart. We went on to watch the frantic elephants...there was a baby elephant that was only a few months old. He and his mom were separated from the male elephant. Mom and Dad were not very happy about the separation, and were making increasingly aggressive attempts to get to each other through what appeared to be electrified fencing. It was a somewhat disturbing trip...further visits have been more peaceful. For us, anyway.

The next week, we heard on the news that a cheetah had taken the leap and escaped his enclosure. He was roaming around the zoo for a short period of time before they put him back in the enclosure. I think those squeaky shoes inspired a bid for freedom (or at least different food).


  1. Great story, LMAO, thank you for the funny. I love it!

  2. Thank goodness he didn't escape when your little one was squeaking around the zoo!