“God, how awesome would that be?” I said, once I was able to tear my gaze away from the meerkats. “So, what next?”
“I can’t leave without hitting up the petting zoo,” said Jen, as though reading my mind.
Jen and I did our best to tune out the screeching of the children who stood between us and the woolly sheep, coarse-haired goats, and the pig with scaly skin whose nose turned out to be quite soft. Finally, I was close to wild-ish animals, stroking their heads as I would my own pet. This was not like the squirrel encounter I had in the park a few years ago, when I was bitten after trying to touch its furry little head — this was safe. These animals were disease-free and not likely to come at me with tooth and claw.
I shooed human kids out of my way to get closer to the animal kind. From where we stood or crouched to caress our chosen critter (the pig’s nose for Jen and the fluffy fleece of a sheep for me), we caught each other’s eye and shared a big stupid grin. But as cool as it was to get right up next to the pygmy ponies and their friends in the petting zoo, I would have given anything at that moment to be sitting among the meerkats.