Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I had to make another run to the city this week. It's always a major undertaking, since the two large cities nearest to us are 2 and 2 1/2 hours away. A down-and-back trip is common, but grueling.
This time I managed to sneak in a couple of hours to run off to the zoo, sketchbook in hand. I got there early, just before the (people) gates opened, and managed a couple of pages of scribbles before the crowds got enormous and irritating.
The hardest part about drawing in a public place like the zoo is not the drawing, but the people. I'm going to avoid a rant because a) it could get ugly and b) I'm tired, but c'mon, adults! How about at least TRYING to pass good information on to the kids you're hauling around? Despite signs and information in front of every exhibit, it's appalling the sort of misinformation I overhear while I'm working. Adults just make stuff up if they don't know!
Well, kids do, too.
The funniest thing I heard all day came from kids who must have been 5 or 6 years old. A group swarmed around me as I sat sketching in front of the giraffe yard. One boy noticed that some giraffes had darker spots than others, so immediately announced that "Boy giraffes had black spots and girl giraffes had brown spots." The adult with the group responded with, "Really? I never heard that before. Is that true?" To which aforementioned child responded, "Oh, yes. My dad told me. (pause to decide how to back up his claim) He works here. (Another pause.) He takes care of the giraffes. I help him. I feed the giraffes...."
Kid #1 was definitely warming to his topic, and the story was growing when Kid #2 literally did an end run around Kid #1 (and me). Kid #2 insinuated himself between Kid #1 and the rest of the group and said, conspiratorially, "Well. MY dad told ME that giraffes can suck your brains out just by sticking their tongue in your ear. You don't wanna get too close to THOSE things."
Next time I go to the zoo, I'm taking ear muffs. For multiple reasons.