Actually, city life exposes you to a variety of social and cultural experiences - from having a choice between Thai to Indian curry to knowing the gangster code name for the police. But wildlife? Not unless you consider a raccoon stealing chicken from your backyard barbecue a National Geographic event.
That's why it was a real treat for the last school trip, when Zuki's second grade class went to the Gantry park to see a touring raptor show called "Birds of Prey." I volunteered to escort citing the dangers of taking the subway with a bunch of second graders - but the truth of it was, I wanted to see a real live eagle.
It was hot. The 7 train was a mess. Together, they were a hot mess. But to see the affect wild animals have on kids was worth it. It's ironic how the call of the wild is the very thing that calms seven year old beasts. Then again, to be told that the falcon was eying a chihuahua earlier probably hit home.
To say the kids were in awe would be an understatement - they've never seen birds like this. Perhaps kids growing up in Texas see seven-foot wing spans on a daily basis, like the one pictured here. Kind of scary, but I'd take this guy over a bunch of filthy pigeons any day.
|Is that a Pterodactyl?|
Of course when Zuki found out that the barn owl is an effective mouse exterminator, he asked if we could have one as a pet. You have to admit, it is a beautiful bird.
My house may be a pig sty but it ain't no barn. So the answer was "No. We can't have a barn owl for a pet."
Zuki nodded and I figured he understood. "Then can we get a falcon?"