On one such sunny Sunday, we met Blue's grandparents at Henry's Ark in Louisville. Knowing nothing except what we read on their Facebook page, we came equipped with a bag of kale, some apple slices, 2 bags of carrots and the camera. Henry's Ark is a non-profit rescue shelter and home to many unexpected animals...2 zebras, an ostrich, an alpaca, deer, an emu, many freely roaming ducks and goats, and a fair number of wild turkeys. There were also a couple of sheep and a bunny. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Only 1 of some animals and more than 2 of others, they are an equal-opportunity ark. And they encourage the feeding of animals, but ask that you not bring bread or cereal (their Facebook page literally states, "if you feed the animals bread or cereal, you will be sent the vet bill). I can appreciate this as I'm raising a wild animal of my own...he definitely needs more kale and carrots and less bread and cereal.
After an opening of the skies and a dumping of rain (worthy of any ark) the evening before, the main path through the refuge was fairly muddy. And the hooves of hungry billy goats were caked with mud, too (although nothing a little Shout and a pre-soak cycle couldn't fix). But the animals were glad to have guests, especially ones bearing food.
"Ohhhh look! The humans are here. And they brought those plastic bags full of food!"
"Hey Dad...I think he's looking at me."
"He was DEFINITELY looking at me."
"You smell nice. Is that Chanel #9?"
Dad met someone. They made each other smile. Somewhere in the distance, a goat gets jealous.
I wish someone else in this house got that excited about apple slices.
"If I show you my Julia Roberts lips, will you stick a carrot between them? "
That awkward moment when Dad almost got mauled by an ostrich.
"Alright, son...let's talk about how we're going to convince Dad to buy us a camel."
Neal learned a long time ago that it's always better to give carrots rather than sticks.
Until next time, my little gobblers.
If you go:
7801 Rose Island Road
* It's free, but they depend heavily on your donations so bring one of the dead presidents with you.
* Seriously, people...don't feed the animals bread or cereal. If a goat drops over in the middle of the night, that's on you.
* If it has rained during the week of your visit, wear something other than your Coach ballet flats.
* They have a Facebook page. Check it out. Tons of photos from other visitors, plus some handy information about the animals residing at the ark.
* Don't feed the animals bread or cereal. Wait, did I say that already? Let me say it again.
* Bring a camera, some kale, some carrots, an apple or 5 and your outdoorsy side. It's rustic but a completely perfect way to spend an hour or 2.