I have been little bit obsessed with visiting the Oregon Zoo on weekends of late. Partly, it's the sheer gratuitous convenience of it--I haven't lived so close to a zoo since I spent a summer in Washington DC. So yes. Give me a few spare hours on a Saturday afternoon, and you'll very likely see me making a bee-line to the zoo.
Mind you, it has been months since I used my watercolors. And the last time we moved, I put my awesome sketching-optimized hip-pack into a box and of course I haven't seen sense. So I'm just fumbling around with a shoulder bag, trying to get my paints and water and brushes all ready, feeling rushed and flustered.
And the next thing I know, the sketchbook has fallen over the fence...right into the hippo enclosure. Whoops.
I couldn't reach it. The lashed-together stakes of bamboo were tall and pokey for reaching over, and too close together to slip a hand through. The tall young woman standing next to me couldn't reach it either. But then her boyfriend gave her a boost, and she performed an incredible (and darned nerve-racking) feat of gymnastics that, amazingly, allowed her to grab the sketchbook. We gaped at each other, stunned, amazed that it had worked. (All the while, passing elementary school students were chatting about how many more people are killed by hippos than by lions each year, too--heightening the sense of danger, indeed!)
In gratitude, I gave the two brave heros one of the "boldly go" cards that I had in my bag. They were delighted--art rescue, art reward. Perfect.
And, in truth, the hippo sketch really was the best thing I did all day. What a face!