A Day at the Zoo

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mason makes his way to the zoo hoping to have an encounter with his favorite animal, the lion, but finds so much more.

Submitted: December 12, 2016

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Submitted: December 12, 2016

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It was just an average day at the Brooklyn Zoo and Mason was ecstatic to finally get to see all of the animals he had been learning about in school.  He was especially excited to get the opportunity to see a lion up close and personal, majestic and proud.  As he entered the zoo a smile crept across his face and his eyes began to glow more than the fluorescent lit signs.  He turned his head, slowly, from right to left, scanning the entire entrance to the zoo and took a big whiff of the air.  The sweet scent of peanuts and cotton candy filled his nostrils as he closed his eyes and exhaled.

Mason walked up to the information booth and grabbed a map and started to plan his adventure.  He would start with the arctic animals first, then make his way to the aquarium, and finish with the animals of the African savannah, saving the best for last.

As Mason made his way from habitat to habitat, the anticipation of finally getting to see a lion began to build up.  He was giddy with joy and excitement.  Mason made his way out of the aquarium and started on the path toward the animals of the African savannah; he was ready.  There was a slight breeze against his face as he peered around the corner as the path began to bend and he noticed a large sign that read: “LION EXHIBIT CLOSED FOR THE DAY.”  A look of sadness fell upon Mason’s face as he read the sign over and over again, hoping it would change.  At that point, Mason did not want to continue his venture through the rest of the zoo; his motivation had completed waned and he had no interest in checking out the other animals of the African savannah.  He had so much aspiration to get to meet his animal idol up close and personal and he had looked forward to what it would be like for a long time.  He felt in his heart that no animal would ever be as majestic and inspiring as the lion.

He put his head down and started to make the long walk back to his car.  It was just then he heard a commotion coming from around the corner.  It sounded like an animal was trying to break through a fence.  Mason started to walk toward the sound until he found the source.  He peered into the grassy knoll and tilted his head back until the back of his head was almost touching his back.  He was astonished by what he saw.  He followed the beautiful creature back and forth like metronome as it gracefully made its way from one end of the exhibit to the other.  It’s tongue was long and coarse, mane soft and fluffy, and neck longer than the line for kettle corn in the food court.  A giraffe.

Mason had never seen a creature so beautiful.  With every step and every motion it made, he became more enthralled—forgetting about the lion completely; no other animals mattered.  He walked closer to the fence and read the sign: “Amber the giraffe.”  Amber.  Mason found a spot on the lawn and took a seat.  He sat there and watched the giraffe as she started to graze on the tree leaves in the exhibit.  For reasons unbeknownst to Mason, he could not take his eyes of the giraffe.  He did not come to the zoo for the giraffe, but now he could not leave because of her.  Everything she did seemed graceful to Mason.  Even when she tried to gallop around the tree and stumbled, she was beautiful and serene.  Or when her legs began to wobble from trying to reach the highest branch on the tree she looked like beautiful actress giving a performance for the ages.

Before he knew it, it was time for the zoo to close.  Mason did not want to leave, for the giraffe had put him at peace.  He knew if he did not touch Amber before he left he would feel like his day was incomplete.  He made his way toward the fence and found a branch on the ground.  He stuck his hand through the space in the fence and began to wave the branch back and forth.  Amber noticed Mason in the corner of her eye and started to make her way towards him.  Mason’s heart began to race faster than a heroine addict’s.  She stood before him and used her tongue to grip the branch, pulling it into her mouth.  She was now directly in front of Mason and he decided he would make his move.  He slowly put his arm through the gap in the fence and carefully started to extend out to Amber’s face.  As his hand inched closer and closer he looked directly into Amber’s ocean eyes, deep and blue, and started to think about how he had gotten here and what was so enticing about this giraffe.  Nothing seemed to make sense in this moment, but he knew it was absolutely right; perfect.  Some of the most unexplainable things can also be the most fulfilling.

Mason’s hand finally reached Amber’s face and he began to tremble at first, but the longer his hand was on her face, the more comforted he felt.  Amber’s exterior felt like fresh towels and linens out of the dryer; warm and soft.  He began to stroke her face slowly and closed his eyes, feeling a warmth come over his body—almost as if he was at home snug in his bed.  He opened his eyes and noticed the pattern on Amber’s fur.  Each brown spot a mystery waiting to be explored with the space between each spot like a never ending maze, circumnavigating Amber’s body.  Mason started to get lost in her maze and just then, a voice from a security guard rang in Mason’s ears and he knew he had overstayed his welcome.

Making his way out of the zoo, he looked back towards Amber’s exhibit and let out a sigh.  He felt like part of him was missing now that he was no longer near.  He put the hand that he had put through the fence to his face and felt her warmth and peace again.  As he walked out of the gates he thought to himself, “This feeling is almost too good to be true, but it’s true.  I don’t know why and that doesn’t matter.  Thank you, Amber.  I’ll be back tomorrow.”


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