July 09, 2013


Years ago, too many to divulge in public, I was pregnant with my daughter. I already had two young sons; oldest was 4, youngest was 2.

My baby bump was more of a small vertical mountain rather than a mere bump! Baby girl was due anytime.  Walking is a good way to pass the time when you are carrying a 12 pound baby, as sitting is most uncomfortable!

As long as we were going to be walking, we took the boys to the San Francisco Zoo. Formerly called the Fleishhacker Zoo, you can see why the name was changed...I'm sure it made German speaking animals very nervous.

The day was beautiful. No fog, clear skies, ocean breeze.  All the inmates....I mean, residents were in their outside spaces. 

We approached the gorilla enclosure from the south side. It was a large round space, half of it open to the elements with trees, rocks, grass, the other half was protected housing.

A female gorilla left her position in the shade of a tree and slowly started following us around the perimeter. She kept her eye on me the whole time.

My boys were enjoying watching the big guys and the babies so we really took our time.

As we reached the north end, we stopped again. The female gorilla then laid on her back on the ground. In that position it was very evident that she was pregnant, we were twins, though I was slightly less hairy!  She patted her tummy and then pointed to mine, then patted her tummy and then pointed to mine. I patted my tummy and then pointed to hers.

I've often wondered if it was just a female moment of sharing joy of being ripe with child or was she asking me to help her child from being born in captivity. Maybe I am making too much of the moment but it was, indeed, a very moving moment. It was one of those events that touches your heart. It speaks of connections, of bonds. So much more than the joyful bouncing around our border collie does when we say the word "walk" or "treat"!

So, this morning, I am watching One Lucky Elephant, a documentary about a circus producer who is trying to find long-term housing for his elephant.  She has been with the producer for over 24 years and is heart broken when he gives her up to a sanctuary. Quietly, she watches him leave.

Photo Courtesy of Afrigalah
After the producer walks away the elephant acts out in wild abandon. Abandon, yes, abandoned! She knocks down fences and tramples gates.  She rages!

An animal psychologist is brought in and announces the diagnosis of PTSD! (Is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or could it actually be Pachyderm Traumatic Stress Disorder?)

Now I'm wondering, having PTSD myself, how would that precious giant greet me if I visited the sanctuary!  Would we both stomp our feet?  Would we wave our arms (or front legs) in the air and trumpet our pain?

Would we just sit together in each other's aura's, forehead to forehead, sisters, in a world that sometimes hurts?

1 comment:

  1. Just the best preggo story I've heard in a long, long time!


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