News Democrat

Lions and Tigers and Monkeys. Oh my!

By Martha Jacob

I took a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo last week with a small group of family and friends. It brought back memories of when I was a child about eight years old, my parents would always take us to the zoo during summer vacation. I had 5 sisters and 2 brothers, so along with my parents, that was a full station wagon. My mom would pack individual bags of goodies and treats for each of us since she couldn’t afford anything at the zoo. She’d pack cheerios, froot loops, cheese and crackers, M & M’s and other things that we didn’t get all that often. It was a really big deal to get such delicacies on such a special day. When we got to the zoo my two oldest siblings each took two of us for the day and was given the bag of goodies to distribute among us. My parents took the two youngest. My oldest sister, Catherine always got stuck with me and one of my brothers, Ray, because we caused the most trouble. At least that’s what I was told, I’m not sure that’s accurate! So my sister was the key-master to the goodie bag and she clutched it tightly. Whenever my brother and I started getting a little rowdy, or grumpy, out came the froot loops. As soon as my goodies started getting low I’d beg my sister for some of her goodies. She had a big heart and always gave in. Since we didn’t have cell phones back then, my sister was instructed to check-in with mom and dad periodically at certain check-points. We all met back at the car at noon for a picnic together. It was a good time for all of us. Unbeknownst to me, however, my brother had given my sister a big handful of peanuts which were put down in the big goodie bag which wasn’t shared with me. My sister loved sucking the salt off the roasted peanuts before opening them and eating the nuts inside. So all the rest of the day, she would discretely sneak peanuts into her mouth and I didn’t know about it. This went on the rest of the day until late in the afternoon. After the long day, and we’d seen just about everything at the zoo my brother and I really started winding down. We started walking towards the car for our last check-point of the day. We were the first to arrive and sat down at a picnic table to wait for the rest of the group. That’s when I saw my sister shove a peanut into her mouth. “Wait a minute,” I protested, “I didn’t get any peanuts, I want some too.” My sister just laughed a little and said…”too bad sis, they’re all gone.” I asked her where she got them and she said that Ray had given them to her, to which I replied, “where did Ray get peanuts?’ My sister looked a little confused and said “Ray, where DID you get all those peanuts? He shrugged his shoulders a little and said, he got them over at the monkey cage. “The monkey cage…”, my sister inquired? “Who gave them to you over there?” Ray said, “no one gave them to me, people were throwing them to the monkeys to catch, but those monkeys couldn’t catch worth crap and kept dropping them on the floor. So I reached in the bottom of the cage and scooped them up off the floor and brought them to you.” So, once again, what goes around, comes around. She should have shared them with me!