Are You kidding?  Absolutely!

A little “having fun” music:

I’m really beat when I get home, but I’m having the time of my life. This is a little Red River Hog that has been spending time at the nursery. He was a nice little guy that wiped some crap from his little butt on my otherwise pretty clean shirt. It’s not clean any more. I’m adding him to the list of animals that have crapped on me since I have arrived: a penguin, a fruit bat, a snake, a Lorikeet, and now a wild hog.

I say, “Have at it.” Because if you are close enough for them to crap on you, then you have truly been close enough to have experienced having them in your life. Can’t say he smelled particularly pleasant, but at that point, neither did I. So, bombs away!

See? It’s not all blisters, poop and smelly boots. (well, for the most part, it is…) But if you take the time and go smell the roses; or in my case, go smell the poop, you can really get an incredible experience that might just rock your world. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s heinously difficult, but above all, it’s emotional.  I can’t describe to you how much my hands hurt or how my legs are aching. 

But I can tell you that I almost burst into tears after having a little jelly bean get-together with Mai-Tai the Asian Elephant and 3 other incredibly beautiful Asians. It took my breath away. I’m walking out of the elephant house that looks like a palace in India, (the building is on the National Register of Historic Buildings) and I see the Zoo Guests with their strollers, backpacks, lunch boxes, digital cameras and Zoo hats, and I wanted to tell them all what I had just experienced and why I was so choked up. But I just couldn’t. I wanted to stop somebody, show them the photo of Mai Tai in my camera viewer and tell them about the most amazing experience I had just had with some Asian Elephants and “See this mud on my pants?”

“Mai Tai’s trunk did that! I just hung out with some elephants!”

But you don’t.

You don’t just walk up to a group of perfect strangers with a robo-stroller for the 2 younger kids, one who is  screaming, “I wanna see the monkeys!” and the monkeys are on the other side of the park. Mom is having a stroke about the two-year-old who won’t stop the tantrum, Dad is talking on his cell phone, and the 14 year-old is looking like he’d give his molars to be anywhere but with “these people” who happen to be his Parents.

You can’t tell those people that you had the rare privilege of holding an elephant’s trunk in your hands like a bouquet of flowers. You can’t describe to them what it’s like to have this huge, gentle, inquisitive being search your pockets, smearing mud on your pants, and then put her trunk to your ear so you could feel her exhale and listen to her breathe.  You can’t describe how Mai Tai was polite enough to accept hay from your hand. You can’t tell a perfect stranger how you brushed her beautiful eyelashes with your finger, and stroked her ears and her trunk. You keep it to yourself. And then you tell everyone you know and put the photo in your blog. It was a breathtaking moment in my life. 

Why didn’t I tell those people? It’s simple. I didn’t think they would care and if they did, I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.