Ponies Are Scary, And That Is Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

| Related | August 13, 2013

(My four-year-old daughter loves to watch “My Little Pony” on TV. My wife and I think she might like to meet a real pony, so we decide to take her to a petting zoo.)

Me: “Are you excited about seeing the ponies, babygirl?”

Daughter: “Yeah!”

(When we get to the enclosure where the ponies are kept, a zoo employee greets us.)

Employee: “Hello! Are we going to be feeding the ponies today?”

Wife: “She sure is! [Daughter’s name] loves ponies.”

(The employee reaches into a food bucket, and hands my daughter a carrot.)

Employee: “The ponies like to eat carrots, sweetie. So I’ll go ahead and bring one over and you can give him a yummy treat, okay?”

Daughter: “Okay.”

(The employee enters the pony enclosure and brings a large, brown pony back with her, guiding it right up to the fence. It’s quite a bit taller than my daughter. When she lays eyes on it, she starts to shake, drops the carrot and hides behind my wife’s legs.)

Wife: “Whoa, [daughter’s name], where are you going? Don’t you want to say hi to the pony?”

Daughter: *shaking her head* “Nuh-uh.”

Me: “Come on, babygirl. You wanted to meet the pony, didn’t you?”

Daughter: “No. It’s scary.”

Employee: “He’s not going to hurt you, sweetie. He’s very gentle!”

(It takes several minutes of cajoling to get her to agree to give the pony the carrot. Finally she holds it as far from her body as she can and tiptoes toward the pony. It lowers its head to sniff at the carrot.)

Daughter: “Daddy, it’s scary!”

Me: “What’s scary about it, babygirl?”

(At that moment, the pony snorts loudly. My daughter drops the carrot and races toward me, clawing her way up my body in a split-second and clinging to my neck and chest with her arms and legs. She holds on very tight, wide-eyed and shaking. Several minutes later, once we are able to pry her off and calm her down, we’re on our way back home.)

Wife: “I don’t get it, honey. What was so scary about that pony? You love to watch My Little Pony!”

Daughter: “That wasn’t my little pony. That was my BIG pony!”

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Don’t Get The Hump

| Right | July 25, 2013

(I work for an exotic petting zoo. Every Halloween, for several years, we set up our petting zoo at a maze. This particular year, I am in charge of answering questions people have about the animals. I am standing in front of the Bactrian camel—or two-humped camel&mdsh; because I am bottle feeding him. A guest walks up to the pen with two young boys in tow.)

Guest: “Look, kids, you see those humps? That’s where camels store all their water so they don’t get thirsty!”

Me: “Actually, sir, the camel stores fat in his humps. The reason camels can go so long without water is because their red blood cells are shaped like an oval, instead of ours which are circular. The shape allows the camel to hold more water in his bloodstream without bursting his blood cells.”

Guest: “You see, kids! I told you camels store water in their humps! Let’s go look at the llamas. Make sure they don’t spit on you!”

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