Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we have a breeding program for rare and endangered deities. In that specially-created habitat over there (generously funded by Citibank and our local billionaires) are the final two deities known to have belonged to the peoples of ancient Micronesia. Please don't tap on the glass! It annoys them, just as it would annoy you.
Today dawned sunny and cold. It occurred to me to spend a little quality time with my daughter The Spare, who, even as we speak, is being swept away from me on the teenage tide. So we went to the Philadelphia Zoo.
Zoo animals are just like bored gods. In many cases, their kinds have been wiped from the planet, and the only place they reside anymore is in small cubicles with the right mixture of humidity and nourishment. "Only 30 of these animals are known to exist in the wild," reads one sign. In the exhibit, a spotted paw extends from a den ... some beautiful large cat whose ancestors probably ate Homo erectus for breakfast.
Today I saw the rarest creature of all -- Little Girl Spare, enjoying the cute monkeys and the harvest mice, making her own jokes and laughing at mine, snapping photos and bundling herself against the wind. Little Girl Spare, hoping the Andean condors would not be in their cage, covering my mouth as I worshiped them loudly (this has happened before), mapping our way to her favorite exhibit, the Small Mammal House.
Although I'm usually partial to the Andean condor, and usually to the exclusion of all else, today my favorite sight at the zoo was my daughter. May every endangered God and Goddess preserve and protect her, now and forever.