Sunday, July 20, 2008

To Be Like Reesie -- Jennie

I want to like animals.

My 7 year-old son, Reesie, is the inspiration; he likes animals so much, he’s a strict vegetarian—no Jello, even. He hands over his allowance to the SPCA, scours real estate ads for a house big enough to turn into a cat-rehab center, and solicited neighborhood donations for saving the whales. When we walk to school, creatures come right up to him, and a pack of wolves at a wildlife park layed at his feet.

I’ve tried to be as critter-crazy as Reesie. I’ve had cats, bunnies, Sea Monkeys, fish, butterflies, a grow-your-own-frog, and a bearded dragon. When we first moved to Oregon, my husband and I were broke. We had an iguana, Spike, who developed a severe jaw problem. Taking Spike to the vet depleted our Christmas tree funds, so we put lights around his tank and a gold star on top. When Spike died, we wrapped him in toilet paper and buried him in the backyard. I cried. But not hard enough to get another lizard.

Over my 37 years, I haven’t grown as fond of the Kingdom as I would have hoped. There’s a history—beginning with a horse who chomped into my cheek when I was only a baby. Since then, I’ve been clawed by a rooster, attacked by a swarm of bees, stung by a sting ray, and bit by a poisonous spider, not to mention coming face-to-face with a water snake.

So it’s easy to see why, when we travel, I push museums instead of zoos or aquariums.

I’ll tell you one thing: I’m no Saint Francis.

But I’m working on it.

I tentatively rub the short fur of a funny little dog, after Reesie thrusts her into my arms.

“Pet her, Mommy,” he says. “Isn’t she cute?”

5 comments:

Reesie said...

Mommy, that story is really funny and good. Now I know why you always choose museums. But can we go to a zoo sometime?

Disco Mermaids said...

Jennie...that is the most adorable thing ever. Can I adopt Reesie? Seriously, there's some major book material right there.

xo
Eve

Anonymous said...

This is so well written Jennie - it touched my heart!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the Spike story. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I heard there were some animals you were very fond of. Didn't we catch a glimpse of one in the parking lot at Starbucks the other day?

Marcia