I remember when George the first was elected president, a very slight silver lining for me was that we were getting his wife as first lady. Here was this grandmotherly, sincere, honest person to replace Nancy Reagan. We were going to be down to earth rather than following the astrological stars.
Well, I had misled myself. Over the next four years Barbara Bush seemed to be less and less like a warm grandmother, and more and more to be caustic, sarcastic, and downright mean spirited. Her responses to press questions always made me feel sorry for the person asking the question (a hard feat). And she seemed to take advantage of her down home persona against all who crossed her path.
Well a couple weeks ago I came face to beak with the Barbara Bush of the animal kingdom. We visited a wildlife preserve and got to see and feed animals from our car. It was pretty amazing. We saw zebras, elk, antelope, deer, and llamas. We felt very safe, even when the big zebras leaned in and chomped at our food bags.
The only scary moments were when we encountered Barbara, er, the ostriches. I was so excited to see ostriches up close. They always seem so awkwardly graceful to me. And just like I once thought of Babs, I figured they would be warm, fuzzy creatures. But it turns out they should really be models for comic book supervillains. They move quickly. They have these ridiculously long necks that uncoil in a split second, and they snap their little beaks at everything. It doesn’t matter if there is food in the area, if there is something that perhaps once held food it is fair game in their world.
I would like to say that I remained calm as the ostrich snapped its trap around the inside of the rental car. But unfortunately there were three witnesses there (Lee Ann, Molly, and Emma). Still I maintain that the high pitch shrieking they heard was my calculated decision to scare the beast off by hurting its eardrums.