Travels With Child : http://www.travelswithchild.org

Local Treks

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Lunch with the Elephants

Click on image for a larger version
Click on image for a larger version

She's on my shoulders, watching the intersection intently.  The sun is beating down, despite the breeze.  We're looking good in our fabulous, new red rubber noses…. Maybe next year, we'll wear big, floppy shoes too.  "There!" our good friend points - and the Ringling Bros. circus elephants round the corner and begin pacing towards the parking lot outside Lexington Market in Baltimore.  The clowns that have been entertaining and mocking us begin to quiet everyone down.  We can hear the protesters in the background, gearing up.

It's March, and the circus is - as it has been for many, many years - back in town.  First stop?  Lunch.

The market's parking lot is fenced in half - the crowd (us included) are behind the bars.  The six elephants, their handlers, a pack of reporters, and eight long tables loaded down with enough veggies to feed a herd of … um,… elephants are on the other side.  She smacks my head with her hand and yells "They're eating the lettuce!"  I've never heard "lettuce" said with so much excitement.

It's a fine line we're walking today.  I'm not sure how I feel about circuses.  I have circus-going memories that I'm fond of, but I would also much rather take her to a zoo, if not the real savanna, in order to see animals.  Where they aren't performing.  Still, this is an incredibly singular thing to do in the middle of the day, and it is a free thing to do.  And she'll remember it for a long time.  It's her first time near clowns and a ringmaster and it's not terrifying.  She loves the elephants at the Maryland Zoo, and we can talk about the differences between their jobs and these elephants, which we do, while wearing our red rubber clown noses.

(this year's Lunch is on March 19 - get there early, if you're going.)
Posted in Acting like a child : Americas : March-May : Toddler : Young Child by Fran W. at 8:16 PMPermalink

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