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A Trip to the Zoo

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Baby Babble

By: Ashley Hoppe   |   July 6, 2022

Last weekend my parents took me to the zoo. Now when I say this place is wild, I’m not just talking about the animals that we saw. No, I'm more talking about the parents who come here. But before I get to that, let me tell you about this place. There are wild animals, and I mean wild. I’ve met two cats before and those things are a little scary but they don’t hold a flame to the animals I met here. Cats are about my size, and I’m actually overtaking them. But, these animals were at least ten times my size, and probably more. I’m talking tusks, horns, sharp teeth. Thankfully, all of these animals are in fences, but I heard my parents talking about the time when a tiger jumped over the fence and attacked children. Um, okay parents, why did you think bringing me here was a good idea? I definitely do not want to get attacked by any of these scary animals—fortunately I didn’t and am safely back home.

The trip went well. I mostly slept on the way, and when I woke up I was in the zoo, and looking at lovely trees like I see on all my walks. I fell in and out of sleep while we strode through the zoo looking at scary animals. The oddest part was my parents taking a picture of my stroller in front of every animal pen. I’m fairly certain you can’t see me in most of them because of the sunshade, but I guess my parents just really want to show off their stroller. They also dressed me up in a ridiculous outfit, I think they were trying to pretend I was a bear. I’m not, by the way, I’m a three-and-a-half-month-old human. Do they not understand that if I was a bear they should not be holding me? 

My parents also took me on something called a “train.” I was definitely awake for the start of it, but by the end, I guess I fell asleep because I don’t remember leaving the train. I wish we could be on that train all the time. Let me tell you about this magical thing. There was a sound that went “choo choo,” and then the movement started. I want to be rocked to sleep like that every night. While it was moving it emitted a low humming sound which was very pleasing to my ears. That, combined with the rustle of the wine though the trees has got to be my new favorite sound, not including my parents’ voices. Being held by mama, listening to the lovely combination of sound, in that beautiful motion was heavenly. Next thing I know, we’re walking by various animals again. I mean, who made the crazy decision to leave the train!  

But what’s crazier is that every other baby I talked to and passed also remarked about how odd it was that their parents brought them to the zoo. They said they slept through at least half of the animals and their favorite part was also the trees and the train. Many of them had animal outfits on too, and it almost seems as though the parents wanted to come to the zoo mostly for themselves. I would be perfectly happy just going around the neighborhood, gazing at the trees and the other people, the clouds and the sky. For now, I feel content seeing these large animals only in books. Maybe this is the kind of thing that keeps parents entertained, scaring themselves by looking at the large animals. I shouldn’t complain too much, I got two nice car rides from this. 

As I think back on this, I wish I could tell my parents to skip the zoo next time. We can always look at animals in the books and if they want to see scary animals up close, leave me out of it. Instead, let's go somewhere where I can ride that magical train over and over again. 

Ashley Hoppe lives in Novato with her husband Brett and their son Jackson. You can find her hiking or trying a new coffee shop. She’d be delighted to hear from you at
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