My Magical First Job Running Wild in an Indonesian Zoo
As a twelve-year-old trainee I hand-fed hippos, hugged orangutans and was bit by a baby tiger. Now, as an adult, I wonder if kids these days need a little more dangerous freedom.
Illustration by Vinnie Neuberg
Neighborhood children tumble from the school bus like crayons released from a box, bright and happy. Every day, I time my dog’s walks to the hiss of yellow bus breaks so I can silently shepherd them home. They are not mine, but I worry about them. I worry about their tiny, bubbly bodies. Children don’t always color in the lines and they don’t always stay on the pavement. Speeding cars roar down our street. I tell myself that my presence might be a danger deterrent. But then I remember a treasured part of my own childhood, and wonder if perhaps the children have been entrusted with the walk home for a reason.
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