I take the kid to school, then sneak away alone to the zoo.
I am a man with a pack and a book. They swim and surface and have beautiful whiskers. I say, "Hello! You have beautiful whiskers." They also roll in mud. They have humps and lips. They have strong smells and Latin names.
In the space of two minutes, the time of thirty short steps, a girl who doesn't have to be at school yet is afraid of a tiger and calls "wolfies wolfies" to the wolves and cries at a spider on the rail.
There is almost no one here but workmen with shovels and trowels and levels. I read some of the best American poetry available at the time to equally uncomprehending penguins, to yaks and to ducks equally. To the llamas, who ah-oo, I ah-oo too, we all ah-oo ah-roo. I am among the wooliest.