Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Dad keeps his promise.


Dad took me to the zoo. He kept his promise. I told him “I feel better”. He laughed  and apologized at the same time. The night before I looked for my zebra print tee-shirt and carefully hung it beside my bed. In the morning I watched the clock. At 9 a.m sharp I tell Dad to stop work or we’ll be late. Mum and cousin Kak Lin also came along. From the moment we parked we could hear the siamang (gibbon) making their unique, loud territorial sounds. I joined in. Mum went to buy tickets and realized that she if she had brought along my OKU (orang kurang upaya) card I could have entered for free. She doesn’t ever carry that card with her because she doesn’t like a reminder of what my ‘label’ is. Kak Lin took charge of the camera and diligently photographed any animal that I got excited about… which was pretty much all of them. I was like a kid in a candy store.

It’s odd that normal folks don’t know the most basic thing about animals. I mean our conversation would be something like this;

Kak Lin: ” look a llama”. Me: “NO, its a guanaco”. Kak Lin:”huh? what’s a guanaco?”  Me: Sigh . . .

Mum: “there’s a wallaby”. Me: “NO, its a pademelon”. Mum: “a whaat?” Me: “Pade…melon, a kind of wallaby”

Then they (except Dad) would go to the info board to check if I was right. Dad says why bother, I’m always right about animals. After awhile they stopped naming the animals and just asked me to identify them (while they took quick sneaks at the info board). Oh by the way, I can also mimic the animal sounds. How good am I? Good enough to make Kak Lin’s mouth gape open in amazement. Mum makes me watch the camels. She stresses ‘See how the camel chews its food?’ I replied ‘Yes but the real name is dromedary. It has only one hump”. Mum glares. I’m missing the point. Viewing the tiger, puma, lion and leopard was exciting alright but I spent the most amount of time watching the deers. Mum doesn’t understand what it is about them that appeals to me so much.

Check out the photo below of me ‘petting’ a giraffe. We had burgers for lunch at The Wild Restaurant and made a stop at the souvenir shop before we left. Kak Lin asked me to chose something. I chose a Zoo Negara mug with pictures of apes. Thanks! As we got into the car I realized that we had missed the Aquarium and told Dad “Please come again”. He said “We’ll see”. I don’t know what that means so I ask a bit too anxiously . . . .When? . . . . .When? (again). Mum makes a disgruntled sound. I stop. I know what THAT sound means. It means to stop pestering before I ruin a perfectly good day. I do this a lot apparently without realizing it.

However, as I get older I learn to check myself before I cross that threshold of no return – the point where I exhaust my mother’s patience and she issues me a final warning to STOP or I will not (do/go/have) whatever-it-is again for a long time. One thing I can tell you about Mum. She does what she says and she says what she does. It’s this no-nonsense firmness that has taught me discipline. In the early days I threw tantrums and rolled on the floor if I did not get my way. She would physically drag me away while people watched, shaking their heads amidst whispers of what a bad mother she is. Some say she’s too harsh. Mum calls it hard love. It’s the strongest kind of love there is.

*P.S Mum says she doesn’t want to be the mother that’s always searching for the child who’s constantly wandering off or having to coax a child to go to sleep every single night. I stick by Mum’s side (except that time I got lost at Animal Kingdom, Orlando) and I have slept on my own since I was three years old, at a regular time. How did she manage this? Ok this surely requires a new post.

Imagine petting a giraffe. A reticulated giraffe to be exact.

Having a good time at the Savannah

What’s not to love about the zoo?


It’s the best place to be. Dad promised me a day at the zoo after I helped him with three days of data entry work. Then I fell sick so the trip got postponed. I tried to fool him and told him I had fully recovered but my croaky voice gave me away. I tried to give him friendly reminders but he didn’t appreciate it. Mum says repeating 10 times a day is not friendly…. its called annoying. I hear this word A LOT. I don’t mean to annoy. I just can’t help myself. It’s like a terrible itch that demands to be scratched.

Have I told you I’m like a walking Encyclopedia of Animals? But that’s a whole different story. Mum will share later. I like wild animals much better than pets. Cats and dogs scare me a little because they come too close, too fast and often too loud. It’s all too much for me. I own a couple of these encyclopedias as birthday presents. It replaced my annual Magna Doodle birthday present streak. There’s a story there. See you later alligator.

This is where I draw my thoughts at super speed

P.S  If you don’t know what a Magna Doodle is, look at the pic. It was THE toy of the child of the 1980s. Mum said “bless the inventor of this wonderful idea”. I use it to draw my thoughts. I’m a good artist when it comes to drawing animals and dinosaurs.  This was my first form of communication during the early days when I had not acquired speech. It is still my all-time favorite but I carry it around less often now because Mum says it looks odd for a young man to be lugging around this toy.