Friday, 24 June 2011

Do you know your cocks from your beavers?

Isn’t one of the greatest pleasures of parenthood teaching your offspring about the world? What plants need to grow, what causes a river to meander, the purpose of bees, how a car engine works…… Imparting knowledge to help them to make sense of this crazy world around them.

With this in mind, I was really looking forward to our trip to the zoo.

First up, we take a wander through the ‘wild’ area. This zoo is a little different from other zoos as a lot of the animals roam free. Just talking about the friendly ones of course. ‘What’s that Mummy?’ enquires The Whirlwind. I mentally flick through my inbuilt animal encyclopedia. Hmmm. I’m struggling to locate this one when The Hubster pipes up ‘It’s a guinea pig.’  Now I do know a bit about guinea pigs. I’m sure they are just balls of fluff with eyes and a nose hidden in there somewhere. Not, like, any neck or anything.  So I dismiss this idea. It then does this.


I’m pretty sure this animal is just doing a meercat impression, and is not actually a meercat. Aren’t meercats black and white? I’m sure I’ve seen them in those adverts. ‘I’ve got it, it’s a ferret!’ says The Hubster. I refer to my mental encyclopedia once again and decide that this can’t be a ferret on the grounds of it’s lack of an unusually long neck. Suddenly I’ve got it. ‘It’s a beaver!’ I shout excitedly. At this point it does this, so I’m feeling pretty confident I’ve got this one right. Phew.

 

We move on. ‘Oh, look she’s so pretty Mummy,’ The Whirlwind comments as a peacock displays its feathers. ‘Actually, a peacock is a male sweetheart, a ‘him’, not a ‘her’.' I look over to my husband in the hope of catching an impressed look at this little nugget of peacock trivia. It’s there! So when it’s mate comes along I continue ‘and you see this one, without the pretty feathers? This one is a girl peacock’, I announce proudly. ‘Er, that would be a peahen Kelly,’ says Smug Hubster.

However, the smugness is short-lived . As we approach this particular four legged mammal, The Hubster knowledgeably, states ‘And this, children, is a donkey.’

 

‘A donkey??!!’ I shriek. ‘How can you possibly think this is a donkey?! Look at it’s hair, it’s all shaggy. It’s clearly a sheep.’ Simultaneously we notice the sign that says Alpaca. I’m sure sheep and alpacas must be pals or something though as I’m sure this one was a sheep.

So lesson learned? Do your research before you set off to the zoo. You don’t want to cock it up.

7 comments:

  1. I'm just wondering how much thought you gave to the title before saying,"Sod it,I'm going with that title anyway." This is great fun Kels.By the way I'm loving the name "Whirlwind."

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  2. First of all, I'm hugely impressed with your beaver knowledge. But second of all - all this stuff about car engines and plants? Is that a pre-requisite for decent parenting? Because if it is I am, quite literally, screwed! Knowledge about Take That and wine, on the other hand....

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  3. Pops - It was hard to resist! I ummed and ahhed and then Adam said, just do it! Thanks x

    Mothersalwaysright - this was my rose-tinted-spectacles idea of decent parenting. Clearly, when it comes down to it, I don't quite cut it. Though wine and Take That? Yes, my children will very well educated in these areas ;-)

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  4. Nanny Sue - I'd do some research on the title if I were you. Next time you plan a zoo visit, take me with you! xx

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  5. Not a cock in sight *sighs* ;)

    Cool beaver/guinea pig with a meerkat complex!

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  6. Sounds like you need a holiday on our farm, then you will all know your sheep from your donkeys and alpacas, we have them all and more!

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  7. Absolutely! It is on my never-ending list of 'places I want to go on holiday!'

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