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Last night I saw a story on the TV news that had me oohing and aahing. The reporter was doing the same. The 18 day old baby Panda at the Atlanta zoo was having her first physical examination. She measured 6 to 8 wriggling inches and was fuzzy and round. Totally adorable. What I wouldn’t give to be one of those attending her.
Later on I saw another story about a baby dolphin who had been found sick, starving and wounded. She had been caught in a crabbing net with a rope around her tail so tight it had severed the tail. Those who saved her had fed her, fixed her wounds, and, more importantly, taught her to swim. Dolphins need their tails in order to swim fast and leap and frolic. A call was sent around the tail for an artificial tail she could be taught to use. Believe it or not, they found several to test and she is now learning to use it. She will have to live where she is for the rest of her life since the tail will have to be adjusted as she grows. She is quite happy where she is, doing much cuddling and kissing. If I were there she’d be doing much more.
I was musing about what kind of job I would like to have had and I know, if I had my druthers it would be working with baby animals anyplace in the world. There was a lady I once envied more than any other. She and her husband worked in the Bronx zoo and her job was to be human nanny to every baby creature in the place. She specialized in the baby big cats.
If there were orphans, she and her husband took them home to their apartment. She wrote a delightful book about their lives together.
Her husband was a happy man. They had no children but were completely Mom and Pop to their animal brood. He would put the little ones on a throw rug and romp around the house pulling them behind. When he stopped for breath the babies would jump back on the rug and yell for more.
She was told the one animal who would not respond and become a pet was a black panther. She proved everyone wrong. Her panther would leap on top of the kitchen door and watch her cook. He followed her everywhere and protected her from things like waste baskets and garbage cans.
There came a time when she was not allowed to go into cages and play with her kids. She was only 5 feet tall and weighed 85 pounds. Whenever she showed up, the tigers and lions would run to her, jump up to put their paws on her shoulders, knocking her flat. She had to pet and kiss them through the bars. When her first tiger had a baby she leaned against the bars praising and congratulating her. The mother responded by bringing the cub over to her for some affection for both of them. She said it was a moment she would never forget.
Another happy job for me would have been researching and working with whales and dolphins. I love and admire these creatures. I am convinced they can understand every word we say and we are just too dumb to understand them. I would only like to be with them in a big cove with open access to the sea. I think it is terrible that so many of them are confined to small spaces in order to amuse the public.
There aren’t too many other jobs I would like to have. I would like to be President or a queen like Elizabeth the first. I think I’d refer being Elizabeth.
There would be lots of beheading you can bet. The population would be mostly kids and animals and the oceans and lakes would be clean with pristinely clean skies and water. We’d call the place Heaven on Earth.
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