“Which animal would you like to see the most?”
“That would be you, Kim.”
The Weaver and I had an invite to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Honolulu Zoo, a dear friend of mine is a zookeeper. Upon hearing my corny remark, she did a little double-take, and then flashed that laughing smile for an instant, that smile I remembered so well from the days we worked together. We went with her and met a pair of friendly elephants, the world’s fourth oldest hippopotamus, a trio of frisky giraffes and a pair of curious zebras. All the animals (except the cranky hippo) seemed to love her. Then she called out “Krueger, Krueger, come here boy… ” A 5000 pound white rhinoceros came trotting up, like an obedient dog. She stroked his snout, talked softly to him, and fed apples into his soft, gaping maw. I fed him too, his wary brown eye giving me a once over before accepting my offerings. (Please note: we had a MASSIVE steel fence separating us.)
A rhino is a dangerous wild animal, with a reputation of having a bad temper. But this one had a gentler side, an obvious intelligence and a friend named Kim.