It had been one of those perfect days. Blue sky, puffy, white clouds floating lazily over their heads. She and her beautiful little boys spending a day at the zoo, childish laughter in the air. Maybe that’s why Lacey had let them run ahead. My instincts told me it was safe. I just let them go. She’d been smiling when she heard the scream.
There was Zack down below, who’d somehow fallen into an enclosure. A huge reptile was charging him. Her youngest, Ben, screamed for her, his eyes wide in terror. Lacey held him close as she yelled for help. The shot from the zookeeper, the one that killed the creature, filled her with relief and sorrow.
Now, the world knew her name. She had no idea the creature that died was one of a rare, endangered species. The backlash had begun. Lacey was a bad mother. Her child should have been shot instead of the animal. She should have been shot. She was an idiot. A welfare mom. A drug addict. A loser.
There was a knock at the door. Her next door neighbor stepped inside and she braced herself for another attack.
Darkness cloaked Eva’s brain as her shaky hands turned her steering wheel down the gravel drive. Rolling down the window, she welcomed the cool breeze, the smell of sweet grass. She nodded at the ranchers, who tipped their hats. They knew her around here; she wasn’t really predisposed to long conversations. Not with humans anyway.
She stood on the bottom rung of the wooden fence. Maisy clomped over, a beautiful, gleaming black mare. She rested her forehead against Maisy’s face, letting her breath match hers until the fog lifted.
According to a Bristol University professor, chickens are smarter than human toddlers. New chicks can keep can track of up to five numbers. They can also grasp the concept that an item that is out of sight still exists, something that human babies don’t understand until age one. Read more here.
According to the Humane Society of America, “turkeys dig family and stick together. Wild turkeys forage in groups and roost in trees together. Turkey mothers diligently teach their young survival skills, and turkey brothers stay together for life.”
I only learned about this species of deer a few months ago. According to Wikipedia, pudú are the smallest species of deer, ranging in size from 32 to 44 centimeters (13 to 17 in) tall, and up to 85 centimeters (33 in) long. Unfortunately, they are on the endangered species list due to over-hunting and loss of habitat. I hope we are able to enjoy the beauty of these remarkable animals for generations to come.