you are not at the zoo

He walked up to the ticket counter and bought one regular admission. His first visit. He thought the primates would be the most fun and had been dreaming about them for two months. He went to see the gorillas, orangutans, “wizard monkeys”, baboons and chimps, among other’s whose names always slip his young, mind. It was just as fun as he had hoped.

Nothing else at the zoo concerned him so he left. Overjoyed, the next day he went back, if for no other reason than to have proof that he had really seen them. He approached the same old man at the same ticket counter, holding up six dollars he said “I’d like to see the monkeys.”

We have monkeys, yes, but you cannot see them. This is not a zoo.

But yesterday it was…

I’m sorry but we do not run a zoo here. You must be mistaken.

Are you playing a trick on me? Only yesterday I was allowed in and I’m sure it was a zoo.

The old man shook his head, irritated, and suggested that he had only wanted to be at the zoo but had never really gone.

He knew the old man was wrong, but his young mind was easily confused and the old man had such disdain in his voice, that he cowered and walked away. Indeed, never to be let into the zoo again so that he finally accepted that he had never been. The monkeys he could swear looked right at him. He could swear he had smelled them, and remember his heart soaring as they played with each other leaping ably from limbs and ropes…

He wondered if the zoo ever did allow him back in if he’d even care to go anymore. What if the next day they insisted he’d never been. It would be a confusion he couldn’t survive twice.


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August 2008
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