Anyone who has worked in retail can tell you that some days you will just have to deal with one challenging person after another. On days like that, it is especially important to have something that you can do to bring you back to your happy place before dealing with anything else. Which is why, on a chilly afternoon in February, I spent part of the afternoon walking around the zoo. I figured that the people I had been dealing with had been acting like animals, so I might as well see some other animals to help myself relax. After all, it has been my experience that the animals at the zoo only get demanding at feeding time, which is a better reason that fussing over why a shop doesn't carry products from a rival company.
Since it was midweek and a bit breezy, there weren't very many people wandering around the zoo that afternoon. I was able to just watch the various animals and forget about the annoyances of the day. If you haven't figured it out yet, I really love animals, so it makes sense for me to hang out with them to ease my stress. I worked my way around several exhibits until I found myself watching the big cats. It's funny that someone who loves dogs as much as I do finds big cats so fascinating, but I do.
As I was standing outside watching the lions enjoying some fresh air, a mother came up next to me with her two kids. One was a baby in a stroller and the other must have been about three of four years old. I heard the boy say to his mother, "Mom, where's Simba?" I had a smile on my face since I was watching a pretty healthy-looking Simba at that very moment. In fact, he was watching us in return. I could imagine him thinking that we would make some very delicious snacks. Hey, it's not a stretch...he was looking right at the little boy and licking his chops!
Mom replied to her son, "Well, honey, he's right there, don't you see him?" Little Joey was very concerned. "No, Mommy, I don't see Simba, where's Simba?" Mom and I glanced at each other over Joey's head. How could he not see the lion? It was sizing him up for dining purposes, after all! Mom again told Joey that Simba was right outside the enclosure. "But Mom, I can't see Simba! Where is Simba, Mom?" Getting concerned, I helped point out that Simba was in front of us in the lion enclosure. Granted, he wasn't super-close, but Joey should have been able to see him.
Joey was becoming frantic. "Mom, I want to see Simba! Where is Simba?" Mom told Joey, "Don't you see him, honey? He's right there. He's standing up and looking straight at you!" Joey gave his mother a withering glance and said, in an I-am-so-digusted-that-my-mom-is-so-stupid tone of voice, "MOM! That is Mufasa! Where is Simba?" Mom and I took one look at each other, and I had to walk away. I really didn't want little Joey to think I was laughing because I was making fun of him. Yes, it was an incredibly funny moment, one that still makes me chuckle. I had gone to the zoo that day to get away from the annoyances that people had caused me that day. All it took to melt away my stress was a little boy who wanted to see Simba, and decided that maybe his mom didn't know everything after all!