Reflections of the SALT field trip to the Nashville Zoo

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A Day at the Zoo

Nathan Curtis

            For a bunch of middle schoolers, a rainy Monday afternoon can only mean a great trip to the zoo. My classmates and I were a little hesitant about how the field trip was going to turn out, but once the bus arrived full of smiling children we knew it was all going to be okay. I was put in a group with Sham, Mercy, and Harry. These guys were ready to see the animals! At once we took off toward the reptile room, and on the way, we got to see the lemurs and the meerkats. As we approached the reptile room, the rain picked up. This, however, did not stop the boys in our group who had brought no rain jacket or umbrella. We entered the building to get a break from the rain and to check out the biggest snake they had, the anaconda. We also had fun looking in each little display for the snakes that were camouflaged, the first person to find them was obviously the winner. Once the shine of these amphibians and arachnids had worn off, it was time to see the zebras. Now when we had started our journey, Harry was very keen on seeing the zebras. He actually made a joke about it saying he was “going home”, referring to Africa! The rain had not let up, and my jeans were soaked through so I couldn’t imagine what it felt like to be in a hoodie and shorts. Nevertheless, we braved our way to the zebras and stood fascinated by their black and white striped beauty. While the zebras were the most anticipated animal, our adventure did not end there but continued onto the alligators. These were hard to see because they were hiding under the water, but Sham spotted the giant tail sticking out from under the water. While we couldn’t see the body of the alligator, we were satisfied and ready to keep exploring. We quickly made our way to the bamboo forest to see the red pandas, who were trying to take a nap in the trees. We also got to see a leopard. The leopard was sitting in the trees and staring at us. I told Harry that he was watching us and trying to decide which of us to eat. Harry’s eyes lit up with fear for only a moment before realizing that I was joking! We began making our way back to the entrance of the zoo. None of the other groups had come back yet, so we stopped in the gift shop. Mercy scared Harry with some of the rubber snakes, and there was no candy that went untouched from wandering eyes. In the end, an afternoon that could have turned out to be very dreary was brightened by the presence of students who were excited to learn new things.