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Why breeding shouldn’t be permitted without a license, Part 38

It was a gorgeous day at Woodland Park Zoo, and by gorgeous I mean cool and overcast and threatening just enough rain today to make it feel like we had the whole damn place to ourselves, and that’s saying an awful lot on a summer day.

Even better? As soon as we walked into the west entrance, one of the peacocks we often see was fully erect. Er, in total bloom, or plume. Whatever, ALL HIS GODDAMN FEATHERS WERE OUT AND HE WAS PRETTY AS ALL HELL.

So I stop the stroller a good ten yards back, tell Eliot to stay right there with Nola and start slowly approaching him with my camera, because if there’s one thing I hate it’s birds, and if there’s one thing I really hate it’s a really BIG bird, and right now this big-ass bird with all his kaleidoscope feathers fanned out looks a whole lot like a pissed-off dog with his hair standing straight up, and I don’t need a new blog post enough to go getting myself chased around the zoo by a peacock with his tit in a wringer.

But just as I get about 10 feet away from him, this boy of about 5 jumps right in front of me, followed by his parents, and then keeps walking toward the bird. And I’m thinking, “Well that‘s just not a good idea,” and, “Well this just can’t end well,” and “That poor little boy who can’t help having been born to stupid folk. . .” and the parents are laughing and smiling like it’s the most precious thing they’ve ever seen when BAM!, the peacock PECKS HIM IN THE FACE!!

That’s precisely when I took this super-awesome picture:


Pretty, huh?!

(Yeessss, the boy was fine, just crying and scared, nothing but a PERMANENTLY MARRED PSYCHE and BIRD PHOBIA, little things a few decades on the couch won’t take care of. . .)

But seriously, did these people not grasp the concept of “wild animals?” Did they fail to realize we are at a ZOO? That there’s a reason most of the creatures they paid money to see are behind walls? Or were they suffering from some sort of delusion that unless there’s a pen involved, we’re actually in a fucking Pixar film? Like they stepped away from the lion exhibit and all of a sudden the whole fucking place turned into “Madagascar 2”?

Honestly, y’all are lucky my Mom works at DSHS and some of her coworkers told her I was cute at the company picnic, ’cause you idiot parents ARE driving me to carry a flask on my person and when they finally bust me I’m gonna need all the sweet-on-me DSHS help I can get. . .


  • Amanda

    August 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Oh for the love of god – there needs to be an IQ test done when one purchases a ticket to gain entry to any zoo, aquarium, aviary, etc.! Those who fail get a crash helmet & a seat on the safety train that goes around the perimeter!

    Honestly, Luke got bitten by a peacock when he was one, but that involved a corndog and a peacock who was hellbent on nitrates. The kid is still horrified by the birds.

    That is a fantastic picture, though!

  • Tracy

    August 11, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you! I like to think the bird was extra-plume-y for my picture what with just having gotten himself all lathered up. . .

    And poor Luke! I got pecked by a parrot at a BABY SHOWER, of all things, so Luke and I have a shared horror of those nasty fuckers. Who knew you couldn’t trust something with huge claws and a brain the size of a grain of sand??

  • James

    August 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I will keep it brief but this is one of the funniest/saddest examples of Darwin. When I was 10 my family and I were visiting Fort Riley Kansas (don’t ask, long story). At Fort Riley, there is a area with a stockade style fence which held a couple of bison and one calf. As we are watching the furry family, a bipedal family arrived to watch the animals as well. They were all wearing red t-shirts that said “I’m From Delaware” in iron-on white letters 70’s style. Well, the youngest boy about 10 as well jumps the fence to get his picture take with the calf. Momma wasn’t amused by this and knocked the next contestant on the natural selection game to the ground and stomped him to death with her front hooves as mom was snapping the photo. She went back to chewing her grass as if nothing had happened while the Delaware family went nuts. Lesson: Don’t fuck with nature.

  • Jennifer Nocerino

    August 14, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Reminds me of another animal story. On our honeymoon Eric and I visited Gibralter. They have wild macaques there that many of the tour vans drive by and often the drivers will throw them some fruit, so they are fairly aggresive and junp up on the vans. Often the drivers will stop so that you can get out and enjoy the view from the top of the rock. While there the macaques stay close by in case you have food. We saw, not 1, not 2, but 3 tourists run up and try to stand next to the macques and take a picture with them. One woman actually put her around one. In each case these folks were bitten and needed rabies shots. How stupid are people? These are wild animals……


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