Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Through the Looking Glass

This is not a post about food. If it were, I might tell you how I sat on a bench in the shade of the primate exhibit and pulled a baguette from my backpack, how I tore it into large pieces and smeared the soft insides with butter from tiny plastic cases, how I used my sharp eye teeth to rip through the chewy crust. 

But this isn't about that.

Female bonobo, San Diego Zoo

This is about a bonobo, a species of ape that shares 99.6% of its genes with chimpanzees and 97.8% of its genes with humans. This is about a moment I had, where a female bonobo lumbered toward me in a kind of crouched walk, sat down just across the glass wall and flicked her hand in my direction. Her heavy knuckles smacked against the barrier. She looked toward me, then turned her head away.

The window from my world to hers was scratched, but transparent - I have no idea what things looked like from her side. Could she see me seeing her? Or was I simply a shadow behind her own reflection?

Amanda xx

bonobos, San Diego Zoo


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