Friday, August 6, 2010

The Zookeeper's Daughter

As promised earlier, I have a theme going. I just started reading "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. And I know nothing about it except I've heard it is loaded in symbolism. I have only gotten so far as Patel's description of his life as the child of a zookeeper in India. I also have the good fortune to have a copy from the library with beautiful illustrations, so the reading is sometimes slow.

I may have watched too many cartoons lately. Namely, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Meet the Robinsons. They are both loaded with amazing visuals-one with giant food falling from the sky, and another with futuristic inventions and cities. Where do you think my brain takes me when I hear of this child being raised in a zoo?

You wake up to the sounds of the lions roaring, as Patel mentions. You are snuggled up in the arms of the friendly and cuddly polar bear, who is still snoring away. You unwrap his arms and walk next door to the penguins enclosure and shower by taking a slide into the icy water. To dry off, the peacocks fan you with their tail feathers.

Your morning chores include feeding some of the animals, so you take fruit to the butterflies and grab a few pieces for yourself. You throw some hay to the elephants and then sit down with the gorillas to eat breakfast with them. As you're leaving, two of the gorillas see you out so you play a game of tag with them.

You need to go to school, but on your way out, the animals crowd to the bars of their enclosures to see you out. You leave the cacophony of noise behind you-the shrieks, howls, and chatters.

At school in science class, the teacher is presenting on animals from Africa. You squirm in your seat as she asks for a volunteer to describe the diet of the cheetah. Everyone looks at you.

You eat lunch alone because the other kids think you stink like the animals at the zoo. You do.

After school you have a few minutes to play before your homework. You decide to go and swing with the monkeys. Maybe tomorrow, you can try and ride the camels to the end of the zoo.

Then there's the rest of your chores. Wash the elephants. Feed the dead bunnies to the vultures and tigers.

Did I think this was going to be fun? As the zookeepers daughter, you are of course the slave labor. Sort of like the farmer's daughter, although I did manage to skip most of the work growing up.

But at the zoo- the parrot knows your name, the tiger purrs for you, the hippo lets you pat his back, the zebra lets you sit on his back, the frogs sit in your hand, the tortoise feeds from your hand, and I don't have pages and pages upon which to write as Martel does, so you get the point. It is all so much more vivid in my head then what I write.

And then giant hot dogs fall from the sky and you can scoop up ice cream from the lawn.

It is going to take me some time to read this book, so it may be some time before I find another -----'s daughter.

1 comment:

  1. Watch the trailer for The Zookeeper at