I thought of the birds as I yearned to spread my wings — to be set free. Their lives were in these cages, as was mine. Fitting, but not quite comforting. I was happy with the way things were going, because I am blessed — but then again, the same thing could be said for the birds. Peace and safety were provided for them as it’s been for me. So then, why did it feel so wrong?
I’d been itching to go to the Praha Zoo for weeks now. Consequently, I was also having mixed emotions about it. The rebel in me fighting such ideology and the child in me yearning to be taken away by such beautiful and impressive creatures. Naturally, the child in me won out — by a landslide.
The Praha Zoo first opened its doors to the public in 1931. Since then, the variety of animals living in the zoo has increased quite a bit, boasting about 4,400 animals and 670 species all over the world.
In all honesty, it’s a beautiful zoo and very popular with the tourists. The excursion was cheap, fast and rewarding, if you may. Unfortunately, It did pull at some heartstrings and given my current state of mind, got me thinking about things in a way I normally wouldn’t.
For the zoo lovers out there, I hate to be a debbie downer but I found today’s experience to be less appealing than all my previous zoo experiences. Considering the last time I went to a zoo I was relatively young, I suppose that would make some sense. The years have forced me to toughen up and see life for all its worth. As I walked around today, I couldn’t help but notice all the lively young children with their family — oblivious to the ethical matter at hand. You can call me a cynic, you can call me bitter. I prefer to call it introspective.
At one point, I kneeled down to observe a tiny monkey behind a glass window. Immediately I thought, “perfect photo moment” and grabbed my camera, but then the small monkey turned and looked at me — straight into me. My heart dropped. Now, I may be overreacting here, but I could feel the sadness in his deep brown eyes. I was just another tourist, coming to behold the spectacle. His life on display. I refrained from taking the photo. It was the only thing I could do to give him back the privacy I had taken away — that he’d lost forever. What kind of choice was he ever given?
I relived the sense of being tied down, of a territory that has boundaries — horizons you can touch. Oh to be a kid again, life is so easy to enjoy. Simplicity is untouched and a smile means a thousand words.