The Zoo

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As a kid the slightest mention of the word zoo, sent you scurrying to the door. The mad twinkle in your eye. But when the knowledge finally flows to your ears that today just isn't the day, your once cheerful, joyous face turns down into an angry sneer. Most times a game or promise of a treat will arouse you from this sour face. A week goes by, being five it feels like a year has past. The day has come. Its zoo day. The weather is snippy the clouds tempting to rain. My grandmother can't drive, never has and never will. We take public transport everywhere. On this chilly mourning we proceeded to the max line.. The train goes all the way up to the zoo. This was my first ever train ride. I always thought the max wasn't driven. I thought that no one was behind the black door. But being the Wizard of Oz fan that I was, I knew better. There was just a man behind trying to do his magic.



I sat there quietly on the cold hard plastic chair that was to big for my small frame. I watched the people fill in, one after the other, all of them looking in a different direction. They seemed as if eye contact or a smile could kill them. I saw mothers with children who looked similar to me in age, they must also be going to the zoo. I thought to my self. The train began to accelerate slowly at first but it gained speed rapidly, the trees and cars flying by. My grandmother was sitting next to me, clutching my hand. I saw the drips on the windows, the sky had finally decided to let go of the rain. The road began to darken quicker and quicker. In a matter of minutes the road was a charcoal black. It was pouring with a ferocious intensity.



My mind still examining the rain just beyond the window took a minute to figure out what was going on. My hand had been yanked my body was lifted out of my seat. The sliding doors opening to spit us out on the max stop. We were exiting the train. But we aren't at the zoo. I asked with a sudden urgency why we had left the train. My grandmother simply replied " Wrong train, lovie." The thick Aussie accent made others turn their heads and see the short older woman and a young panic stricken girl. We went on the wrong train. Nothing wrong with that. Its fine. But are we lost? I began to panic more so than before. "Are we still going to the zoo?" I squeaked out, almost on the verge of tears. I had waited a whole week for this. "Oh yes dear we'll just be later than planned." We finally got on the right train. I fell asleep once I sat on the plastic chair. The train stopped And I was awakened to the not so gentle shakes and shrieky voice of my grandmother.



Once we payed I Was jumpyer that a jumping bean. The rain was pouring just as hard as any other Portland rain. I ran to every exhibit, atleast twice. I waited to see if I had missed everything. I was quiet when the animals were edgy. I held my nose when the penguins smelt of fish. I fed the birds my crusts off my sandwich. I Waited for the mini train. I waited politly. I was extremely happy. The rain never let up. I was beckoned under my grandma's umbrella. She was afraid I would catch a cold. I was afraid I would miss something. When it was time to go I put up no protest I was tuckered out. Once home I retold my entire story to my mother. I put on some pajamas, ate dinner and went to bed. I had dreams of playing with the animals all night. I wanted to go back tomorrow, I wanted to see it all again.





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