Our son has a bond with animals. He feels so comfortable with them. As he says “they might occasionally want to eat you but they never ever try to judge you”. Our local zoo gives you the opportunity to interact with some of the animals. As long as we go early, before the crowds arrive, then he is in raptures. The looks we get as we leave just as most families are queuing up to get in.
Dad was brave on the photo above and managed to get close enough to take a picture. On encounters with snakes, tarantulas and reptiles you normally find Dad a respectful 100 yards away – with at least two walls between me and the stuff of my nightmares. A few weeks ago he got to handle a cotton snake, a bearded Chinese dragon and two tarantulas. He was just so happy. Strangely dad was hid behind a wall.
For all his confidence with these terrifying animals he does have a couple of beast fears. Strangely those two killer beasts I am really brave with and would happily stroke them. 🐄 Cows and 🐪 camels.
This house is increasingly become a zoo. Two mad cats, bonkers puppy and a hyper active mole. Added to this we have:
- Farm cows – now best friends with puppy
- Various garden birds
- A family of Starlings who live in the roof
- Two squirrels who bury their nuts in our lawn
- A badger who digs up the rest of the garden, probably pinching the Squirrels nuts
- What feels like the worlds population of snails
- Wasp Nest in the attic (found this week)
Well another creature has joined the party now. More on this soon, but first…
Yesterday started quite well and I was in an ok mood when I finally sat down to do some work. But a few minutes later, mood change, one song, one of my partners favourite songs on the radio. Tears and complete feeling of what has been lost. I couldn’t concentrate on work so decided to do a clothes wash. Then drink some very strong coffee. Still feeling sad.
When the wash finished it was time for the tumble dryer currently living in the garage. I took the wet washing into the garage but the phone rang. I put the washing on the floor to answer the call. After an hour of continued sadness I remembered the discarded washing. Went back into the garage and picked up the washing. A reptilian face appeared from the pile of wet clothes. I of course took this crisis like a hero. Screamed, dropped the clothing and ran. ‘Oh my god it’s a snake’ and it could be a big one.
After a few minutes I calmed down a bit. Don’t be daft, this is Yorkshire in autumn, I must have just imagined it. Carefully I went back into the garage. As I moved closer, definite movement in the clothes. Another scream and legged it again. I am petrified of snakes.
In all the panic I had lost track of time. The front door opened and in walked our son from school. He looked on rather dubiously as I told him about the man eating snake in the garage. He convinced me to face up to my fears and confront the beast. Together we carefully went back into the garage. The washing moved again and I legged it again – completely forgetting my son. I ran back into the garage with the nearest weapon I could find, the floor brush. In the garage I found our son laughing his head off.
“Dad you complete muppet. Have a look at your killer snake”
Ok the monster snake in fact did look a lot like a frog, a rather small one at that. So now we have another member of the zoo. This new member has been named “Viper the Frog” by our thoroughly understanding son. Is there no end to my shame.
But thank you Mr Viper, you made me forget all about the sadness, at least for a few hours anyway.
It’s taken a year but we’ve started trying to visit places again. We started going on a couple of hill walks. Very quiet and avoiding crowds. It might sound bitter but I didn’t want to see happy families – it would just remind us of what we have lost. I know my son struggled for months when he saw other children being with their mums.
But time moves on and I’ve got to try and give our son the happiest childhood he can possibly have. So as soon as he became more comfortable with seeing ‘happy families’, it was time to try and make new good memories. He has started to enjoy visiting places again, where as I still spend too much time seeing reminders of the past. But on each new visit I do try to spend more time living in the present. Trying to keep the retrospective to when I’m alone, not when I’m with my son. My son is now good at telling me when he wants to talk about his mum.
We ventured to Doncaster Wildlife Park. It’s one of our favourite places, such a good family day out. As we were walking towards the Polar Bear zone we stopped dead in our tracks. In the middle of the path was a snake – a Grass Snake I think. It was happily consuming a poor frog. That’s the first wild snake I have ever seen in Britain. All the years spent walking through the countryside and you end up seeing your first wild snake in a zoo. We watched it for 10 minutes before it slid off into a grassy bank.
It’s a memory, a new memory, a good memory.