They Were Animals...

And so were the giraffe, zebra and lion.

Clara's kindergarten class had a field trip to the zoo yesterday.  Daddy went with Ben last year AND daddy went with Clara to her last field this one was my turn.  

I hadn't been to the zoo in years.  Since I went last, they have a new Africa exhibit....including lions and zebras and giraffes.  Fun!

This guy was positively surreal.  He was resting just on the other side of the glass, so we were within about 2 feet of him.  He just sat there and sort of dozed and peeked at us from time to time from the corner of his eye.  I just wanted to reach out and touch his soft nose (only his nose was covered in scars - evidence of something a little less cozy than a house cat's temperament).

I could hardly leave my spot by the glass in front of this guy.  I took the hint when the moms behind me started saying (in a rather unnecessarily huffy voice) "Don't worry Johnny, it will be your turn SOON I HOPE."  Yeah, yeah lady.  I'm going.

He was sort of lazily dozing by the glass, until something interesting caught his eye.  He was immediately more alert and looking at that something like this:

I realized that the "something" he was salivating over was very possibly my little girl.  His charm wore off pretty quick.  See you later, big guy.

Clara is awful sweet.  And beautiful.  And refined.  And dignified.  I can see why he'd want a nibble out of her.

I just don't know where she gets her irresistible charm.

Clara has some of the sweetest kids in her class - she really made some great friends this year.  I hope most of these girls are in the same class together next year.

Whenever I see giraffes, I think of my mom.  No, she's not tall with giant spots.  I just remember her telling us as kids that this was her favorite animal.  Isn't it funny what sorts of things kids remember?

The kids got a kick out of "driving" this "ranger's jeep" - I think they would have been tempted to play here all day if the penguins hadn't been calling their names.

Zebras!  Clara loved the "striped horsies" :-)

I sure enjoyed some good old fashioned girl time.  It won't be long before she's avoiding me because I'm out of touch...I don't understand....I'm not cool/groovy/rad/whatever.  I'd better soak up the snuggles while I can.

Clara enjoyed playing the photographer for a while too.  I think maybe a little point and shoot of their own might be a good gift idea this year.  It's so interesting to see things from their perspective.

Here's Clara with her most wonderful kindergarten teacher - seriously a gifted woman.  I sure wish she were going to be back to teach my younger kids (but she's not...she's off to bless a different school after this year).

Clara's getting the creativity on for this shot "I'm gonna take a picture of you WITH MY HAND."  You go, girl.

Here's Clara with one of the neighbor boys (who is also in her class).  Does anything say "I love you" for kindergarteners quite like playing tag and climbing trees?  I think not...

Just when I was feeling proud of our little city zoo for all the awesome Africa animals, I had to come across...the groundhogs.  Seriously?  

There.  That's better.  Let's end it on a strong note :)

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