November 19, 2014
Night is Coming
- as seen by -Michelle Faber
I love my daily walks around the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo – lines of enthusiastic school groups dressed in school-assigned t-shirts; new parents pushing their young children; grandparents buying the second round of “Don’t tell your mother” ice cream while their grandkids chase one of our colorful peacocks. It’s exciting people watching.
I also love when the gates close and the crowds leave. When I plug in my headphones, thumb to a Queen song, and go for the most beautiful post-work run. When I see the animals “off duty.”
During one of my jogs, I took a break by the sea lion pool. As I stood by and watched them all huddled together for their evening nap, I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see one of the female sea lions lying on her belly. Something moved again, a little brown object under her side. I walked around the pool, looking for a better vantage point. And then I saw it. Tucked gently under one of the mother sea lion’s flippers. It was her pup curled up against her large body. If you weren’t looking hard, it could easily go unnoticed. As the baby fidgeted and began to slip away, the mother pulled her closer to her body. The pup lay still, falling back into her slumber.