Herald Journal Columns
March 4, 2002

Nipped by a goose at the petting zoo


Taking pictures of a petting zoo is fun ­ especially when there are nearly a dozen giggly elementary students laughing their heads off after the goose nips me in the butt.

It happened a week ago when I was trying to get a decent picture of the llama, which was in a pen next to the goose.

The llama was more cooperative than the emu, trust me.

There I was, trying to snap a photo of a flood of students as they were streaming through this petting zoo. I turned my back and felt this light sort of light tug on my shirt.

"THAT GOOSE JUST BIT YOU IN THE BUTT!" a little boy said and about six other kids giggled their heads off.

Previously, I tried taking a shot of the evil-looking emu . . . and almost dropped my camera when the darn thing suddenly moved toward me.

It had a long neck, dark face and tiny little black eyes. It looked like it would peck me to pieces.

So, I sashayed over to the other side of the workshop, out of reach.

The FFA students were very kind-hearted and tolerant, as usual, giving this city girl their usual measure of patience.

I thought the issue was done until I arrived at Carol Sideen's class at Howard Lake Elementary to read a handful of poems and one book, in honor of "I love to read month."

The same little boy that witnessed the goose incident piped up again. "Wasn't it funny when you tried to take that picture and . . ."

Mrs. Sideen's class went easy on me. They didn't completely flummox me, or ask me questions that I didn't know. My children are professionals at that.

The students at Waverly asked me the toughies (they are older children, after all) such as "Do you get paid very well?" and "Do you work a lot?"

The Waverly students also showed gentle compassion and expressed concern for my children, since I do work so much.

I generally take my children everywhere I go, except during the day.

As far as "I love to read month," I am an avid reader, especially when I was younger ­ in fact, I can hardly bear to see movies that are based on books because they wreck the whole wonderful story woven by the book (The Lord of the Rings, Disney's James and the Giant Peach, etc.).

Books are in a class by themselves, and this generation is missing soooooo much by being glued to a lifeless television set/video game.

I read to my kids every night, two books of their choice and one Bible study.

There's something to be said for books.

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