Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
That morning they carried the little boy to the window so he could see for himself. Both of his legs were in casts from his fall off the garage roof last week when he was pretending he could fly, but lost his balance. He knew he couldn’t fly, he wasn’t a baby, but it was fun making up stories and easier off the ground.
He’d heard the clicking sounds for a week from his bed on the second floor. The balcony outside the terrace door echoing the splashing of water from the fountain below. Click click click then a sound like a sword cutting the air, tiny splashes, barely audible, then click click click.
His sisters pulled him up slowly into a sitting position. Being careful to avoid hurting his legs. Sally grabbed his waist and tucked her head under his arm. Sarah stretched out on top of the comforter on the other side of the bed, pushing him towards the edge where they could lift him up easier. They didn’t actually carry him; it was more like an escort or security detail accompanying celebrities. He needed help to sit up and then to stand up, but his legs still worked OK although they fell asleep sometimes from lying in bed.
Sally walked ahead of them, pulling the French doors open all the way and tying back the sheers. As they approached the door he could smell the sweet peas on the trellis and see splashes of color in the flower beds that edged the lawn. Click click click whirr splash splash click.
The girls left him now and he rested his arms on the wall of the terrace and slowly looked down into the yard below. Something, a sliver of red, flew by his face, almost colliding with his nose.
It was like that ride at Disneyland, Mr. Toad’s wild ride but the Hummingbird King was in control of his every move, chasing the others away from his fountain, his feeder, his world. Once in a while he would let the others bathe for a moment on the top tier but never let them get used to it. Click click swoop splash.
God he loved the springtime. The garden was fairly popping with juicy red flowers, and the thought of the nectar inside almost distracted him from his flight path and into the dining room window. His reflection bounced off the gazing balls piercing the lawn around the edge of the flower beds and he couldn’t help but admire his profile as he swept closer and closer to the mirror embedded above the fountain on the end, playing chicken, teasing then soaring again, and diving into the spray of water.