Today we went to the zoo. Even though I've had membership for 2 1/2 years this is the first time we've been in the winter. Essentially this means that the bears are asleep. I love the bears. They're so big and near and, well, wild animal-like. It was shame we didn't see them and a shame for them that they miss Hanukkah every year.
I've said it before about the zoo - you think you learned all the animals in kindergarten and then you get to the zoo and find you've never even heard of most of the animals. I always learn something new. In honour if the 8 nights of Hanukkah, here are 8 things I learned at the zoo today:
1. Bears really do hibernate for the winter (and miss the whole of Hanukkah).
2. Even when they work at the zoo, the bears get the winter off for hibernation.
3. There really are such things as seahorses and they really look like the Yardley soap-on-a-rope I got when I was about 12. Actually they're even more beautiful in shades of sparkly blue and delicate gold.
4. I've never eaten shrimp in my life. I saw live shrimp today for the first time (i.e. outside of an M&S food dept). The reason I've never eaten them may be because they're not kosher but, having seen live ones I can tell you, there's more than one reason for not eating a shrimp.
5. Tilapia, Nile Perch, and St Peter's Fish (from the Sea of Galilee) are one and the same. We know about tilapia from Eric Carle's Mr Seahorse. The female lays her eggs in the male's mouth for safekeeping until they hatch don't you know. #don'tevengothere
6. Crocodiles really do sleep with their eyes open. And wild crocodiles were hunted in Israel as recently as 1905.
7. Even though you've been to the zoo 100 times and have 1000 photos of it on your computer, you shouldn't leave your camera at home.
8. When you are 4 the most exciting things are the zoo train and the possibility of buying an ice-lolly. We didn't buy an ice-lolly but we did see an elephant doing a big wee-wee and kaki which was adequate compensation for not being allowed an ice-lolly.
As it's still Hanukkah and I don't have any new pictures of the zoo, here is an a capella mashup of modern and ancient Hanukkah songs: