I am a zookeeper.
At first glance, that seems horrible to say. What mother would ever compare her children to animals or herself to a middle-aged, brown-uniformed introvert who flings seed and carcasses for a living?! Why, children are intelligent, soulful, ever-changing individuals. Certainly not animals.
However . . . what is the job of a zookeeper?
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1. feed the animals a nutritious diet
2. bathe the babies and provide the water and encouragement necessary for older animals to wash themselves
3. provide amusements for the animals so they don’t attack one another or an innocent on-looker
4. exercise the animals so they will be physically active and sleepy at the appropriate times
5. provide shelter for the animals from wind, rain, sun, cold, and heat
6. keep hostile and aggressive animals apart, administering discipline when needed
7. display the animals to the public in the best possible light, at their peak performance hours
8. on occasion, provide an animal show so the general populace can applaud the talent your animals have for learning and behaving
9. call the doctor when the animals are sick or injured, thereby preparing yourself to spend your daytime and nighttime hours giving medicine and changing bandages
10. put the animals to bed at night, making them feel cozy and safe
11. be with the animals as much as possible, so as to create an atmosphere of acceptance and security
12. when it is safe, hug the animals, especially the babies
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Maybe it’s true.
And maybe I’m a darn good zookeeper after all.