• Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

Marvel at All Living Creatures

            Their noses were inches apart.  What was my Grand thinking as he looked into the eyes of a penguin at the Tennessee Aquarium?  Harrison, a juvenile Macroni penguin, seemed as mesmerized as Micah, age 8.  Where they were playing a game of Blink through the Penguin Rock exhibit’s thick glass. Who would blink first and move?

Finally, Harrison swam away.  My Grand turned toward me and said, “He liked me.”  

            Micah’s body touched the glass of the tank that holds the largest aquarium animals.  A Sand Tiger Shark swam toward Micah and he backed up.  After the shark’s nose skimmed across the glass, Micah stepped forward to meet a Whiptail Stingray.  It’s underside white body was wider than Micah’s outstretched arms and it flapped its fins to swim away.  Micah stood at attention waiting for the next animal to come close.  

            During a two-mile hike with five Grands, Daughter, and Daughter2 along a Colorado park trail, we stopped often.  “Look, Gran,” said Charlotte, age 7.  “It’s a lady bug.”  Charlotte had squatted low and she placed her hand on the ground.  The beetle crawled into her palm and we all marveled at its beauty, its brilliant red back with black spots. 

            As we walked, some of us ducked to avoid black and yellow swallowtails and all eight of us stopped to count how many small yellow butterflies flew above a stream.

Lucy and Annabel, ages 11 and 13 respectively, were in no rush at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.  The meercats scampered on the ground and some into holes; one stood at attention, as if posing.  These were the animals both girls wanted to watch first.

At the cougar exhibit, we saw these large cats stretched out perfectly still on rocks.  Husband, Lucy, and I were ready to move on so I said, “Annabel, I think they’re sleeping.” 

            “I know,” my Grand answered and didn’t move. When we finally walked away, I wondered how long Annabel would’ve watched these big cats sleep. 

            On that hot day last week we talked about how hot we were, how hot the zoo animals must be, and we understood why most hid underground or in the shade. “Except him and he might be dead,” I said and pointed to an earthworm on the stone path. Lucy carefully picked him up; he wiggled slowly in her hand.  She carried him to the grass covered ground and gently turned her hand so that he fell off.

            “You saved a life today, Lucy!” Annabel said.

            Just a few days before Annabel and I had read poems from Great Poems for Grandchildren.   “Like the poem we read last week.” I said.  “Hurt no living thing.”  I wish I could’ve quoted the next six lines, especially the last: ‘Nor harmless worms that creep.’

            “Nothing, Gran?” Lucy said with a smile.  She knows I swat flies and mosquitoes.

            One of my grandparent joys is watching my Grands marvel at all living creatures.  I do it every chance I get.