Thursday, 21 March 2013

A Grand Tale

When we became grandparents, five years ago, I began collecting soft toy critters from our local charity op shops, so that when the grandchildren were ready, the animals would be on hand.
Critters crawling everywhere (note Giraffe on left side of bottom line-up)!

Thus, any room or surface in our house can become a resting place for one or more of these critters (they do seem to roam around), and grandchildren Beren (5) and Kestrel (2) always ask for a few to play with when they come, Giraffe being a firm favourite.

Kestrel's favourite Giraffe (and favourite Dad)
However, recently their animal play escalated to monumental proportions, with every critter in sight being conscripted.

The children had dropped in for morning tea, but we quickly came to realise that although the morning tea was enjoyed,
   Morning tea,             plans and dreams,        mischief in the making
in Beren and Kestrel's eyes it was just preliminary preparation for the real business of the visit: the creation of - you guessed it - a zoo!

The lounge room was the chosen location for our zoo and initially chaos ensued. However, under the guidance of the zoo patron (moi!) it was soon decided to provide separate areas for critters needing similar conditions, e.g. desert, water loving, farm, tree climbing, etc., and soon the zoo keeper (Beren) and his helper (Kestrel) were happily finding suitable food for their charges, including grass for farm animals, gum leaves for koalas, honey for bears,  bamboo for pandas, and a lamb bone for the lion, who was especially hungry.

Let me show you our zoo animals.
Before too long we had our first visitors to the zoo, and our zoo keeper showed them around, at the same time checking that his animals were happy in their new environment.

He brought several to the zoo hospital for treatment, and I am happy to report that all recovered quickly, thanks to the care of the zoo patron, who is also a trained critter nurse.

Look what I found in the cupboard, Nana!
In the meantime, the enterprising zoo helper discovered that she could open the cupboard where the 'special' critters are kept, and proceeded to transport them to the zoo (I am grateful that the zoo staff are quite careful in their handling of all critters in their charge!).


Because the zoo was such a successful enterprise, a follow-up visit resulted in another zoo being built. This time, however, the zoo staff lost control of their animals, and an unsuspecting zoo visitor resting on a nearby park bench was totally buried beneath a zooful!
Poor unsuspecting zoo visitor buried alive

Thankfully, he was rescued, none the worse for his adventure, and seemed in no hurry to leave the zoo.


  1. That is a terrific story! I felt like I had visited the zoo too. How fun is that! What a neat idea.

    It's great when the kids are allowed to enjoy their imaginations.


  2. Well, what a busy day the Zoo keeper had. You certainly would have to find lots of food for all those animals. Sounds like you had a fun day.


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