Today after a visit with someone interested in attending services with us, I met up with my family at the St. Louis Zoo. It really is a nice zoo (and free, too–even nicer!), but we did have two experiences that reminded us we are not in the Millennium, yet…
First, there was the hungry cheetah. I don’t know how often they feed those cheetahs and I will be honest and say that I am not up on cheetah body language. But as best I can tell, one of those cheetahs was sizing up a little girl–a toddler–who was walking around outside their enclosure, and it seemed to be thinking to itself, “Yeah… I could take her…” Seriously. The cheetah looked as though it was hungrily tracking her as she walked along the fence. Thankfully there was a nice, wide ditch between us and them (“between us and you there is a great gulf fixed…” Luke 16:26) as well as some electric wires (“and a fence that zappeth thee…” Hezekiah 17:8). If not, I’m pretty sure she would have wound up on the fast cat’s dinner plate. Gave me goose bumps watching the whole thing.
Next, there was the vicious and horrific squirrel attack.
My poor son (Boy #2) learned an important lesson, I’m afraid, but one that will better enable him to surmount similar challenges that may present themselves on his life’s journey: if you see a squirrel climb into a trash can with one small opening, don’t stick your face into that opening to see what he is doing.
Before I could stop him that is exactly what he did, and WOW did that trapped squirrel kick up a ruckus! All Boy #2 saw were claws and teeth and a very angry squirrel face which–thankfully, without touching him–did exactly what they were supposed to do: frighten the yogurt out of him. Boy #2 screamed and fell all over himself getting away from that trash can. The squirrel then leaped out through the now unobstructed opening and jumped onto the neighboring tree, chattering and calling my son all sorts of nasty names in squirrel language. (Dr. Doolittle surely would have blushed!)
[BTW: I know some of you well enough to know that during that story you were thinking: “Run Away! Run Away!” You know who you are…]
Isaiah 11:6 says–
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.”
That time will come to pass! But today’s visit to the St. Louis Zoo was a reminder that it hasn’t happened yet.
Meanwhile, Boy #2 is keeping his face out of strange trash cans. What more could a father ask for?