The Real Thing.
<i>Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica</i>
In a boat skimming past red and black mangroves, close-packed, leaning over the brackish Rio Tempisque, where crocodiles swim, the scales down the middle of their backs breaking the water's murky surface like chains of floating rocks, I think of the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland, my father beside me when I was eight. When the fake crocodile opened its jaws, he said, "How would you like to see the real thing?" I said I would and meant it but knew I'd never go with him. He feared planes, boats and the depth of rivers, but now I'm looking into the eyes of a live crocodile in a jungle river: pale green marbles, the pupils vertical black slits. The crocodile regards me with no apparent interest while herons dip for fish, iguanas bask on branches overhead, and roseate spoonbills splash the sky with pink. Howler monkeys stay high in the trees, but white-faced capuchins crowd around the boat when we stop. One climbs on the roof. Another poops from a limb a few feet away. It hits the water with a splash. Daddy, who put so many ideas in my head, I hope you're looking down from heaven at this monkey relieving itself beside me, then popping a big black spider into its mouth: it's the real thing.
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|Author:||Day, Lucille Lang; Day, Lucille|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2010|
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