Click on the chimp to enlarge
The contest at I ♥ Faces this week is just pets. But it seems that humans aren't the only ones who like little critters. We were at Lincoln Park Zoo, checkin' out the chimps when we came across this guy and his small furry friend.
It was one of those awkward zoo moments, like walking up on rutting zebras with your preschooler. My kids were fascinated and amazed the chimp was fast enough to catch a rabbit, darting through his enclosure. And they shrugged it off as part of nature, with the wisdom of seasoned zoo campers. As I snapped a few shots, it became one of those dark humor moments.
It was a busy day, and loads of families came out the ape house door and exclaimed things like "Oh how cute. Honey, look. The monkey has his own stuffed animal." and "Lookie Sweetie, that chimp has a snuggle, too!" We were all cracking up as they got a closer look and realized the truth.
It was a great study in human nature. Some parents were honest with their kids and used it as a teachable moment for a biology lesson. Others freaked out or worked to hide their own revulsion and backpedaled, or hustled their kids away fast.
Of course, being a book and theatre dork, myself, all I could think of was the character "Lennie", in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice And Men"
"I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him"