Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Steve's Law: Tales From the Real Zoo # 1

Far Away and VERY Long Ago, in a zoo on a most distant coast, a bunch of young people worked in a big(gish) municipal zoo. Annie D, who introduced me to Betsy of Querencia (who volunteered there, but I didn't know her then), and who often comments here, was one, and I was another. We often get together online and tell tales of those wild days forty- some years past, together with our far- flung former colleagues Paul, Glen, and Other Steve.

The stories are rude and funny and speak truth about what happens where humans and animals meet-- obviously a subject of interest to Q- Blog and its readers. We have decided to start up an open- ended series of old tales, beginning with a universal rule of animal handling, courtesy of Other Steve, that I call Steve's Law.

So: pay attention, volunteers: it is the summer of 1970, our creatively foul- mouthed supervisor Richard is going to give a quiz on your recent studies, and you will fail. Other Steve has been here for a while-- listen to him...

"Every year, the new recruits (and especially the volunteers) have to be warned, especially about the primates. To me the tipoff comes when one of them says, "I understand that you have to be careful, but I feel that I have developed a special bond with (Bo, Shyly, Kimba, etc)." [Mt lion, surly plotting gibbon, dominatrix spot- nosed guenon-- SB] "That's when you know that, soon, you will be driving this person to the hospital.

"Special bond = imminent injury.

"Cautious respect = less frequent injury.

"As we all have learned, unless you pick earthworms as your animal of choice, you're going to leak a little red fluid now and then."

The Law. To be continued....

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