Today I took Ricki to the nearby zoo, called “Sefari”.[ It is thus called because the zoo is located within a wider (enclosed) area built to remember the terrain of Africa, replete with several types of animals, including Ostrich, hippopotamus , various types of deer, etc. (No predatory animals, however…there is a separate enclosed “lion” area.)]
In the center of the park there is a full zoo, and at its entrance, several stores. I noticed someone selling hand puppets there, and having a VERY soft spot in my heart for puppets (for what you can do with puppets, see HERE) I purchased a large “Ostrich” puppet for my own use. In addition I bought three cheaper “sheep” hand puppets for the children of my three married sons, as gifts for sometime in the future. The lady offered to “store” the puppets in her store while we toured the zoo, but I turned her offer down, afraid that the purchase (and picking up our package) would slip my mind if anything unusual happened on our way out.
We enjoyed the zoo tremendously, all in all. Ricki and I both especially loved the lemurs. However, as we were watching the hyena, I suddenly noticed a mouse emerge from a pile of rocks right under the hyena’s nose. “Oh, OH” I said to myself, “he is ‘in for it’.” And he was. The hyena pounced on the mouse, jumped back, and pounced again. He then turned him over and swat at him again. Then he proceeded to devour the rodent. Ricki, as all the children there, became hysterical, and she pulled me away, crying. A bit away, I pulled out the Ostrich puppet, and she talked to Ricki about how she was scared by the hyena, etc. I was glad I had the puppet with me.
Later, reaching home at 3:30, I hastened to make a quick lunch, while Ricki unpacked her bags. The sack with the puppets I stashed away safely, forgetting that one of the “sheep” had been appropriated by Ricki en route to our home, and was with her stuff. Ricki finished unpacking, and (at the moment unknown to me) lazily tossed the bag out the window (rather than walk to the trash ten steps away). Later as I unpacked my stuff, I saw I had only 2 sheep, and remembering that Ricki had possession of one, demanded it’s return. Her hand flew to her mouth, and she dashed out the door. But some lucky child, seeing a “discarded” puppet on the sidewalk, had already walked away with it.
Now I am left with the problem of which of Ricki’s nephews will NOT receive a puppet……..