Thursday, June 14, 2007

The burglar vanishes and reappears…

We lost Victor for about five minutes today. Today was my day to keep track of the girls, but they keep track of themselves, so I mostly monitor Victor. At any rate, when we approached the red pandas’ habitat, a large tourist group gathered. Our guide led us away from the group, but as Dave and I watched Andrea and the girls skip down the steps, he asked me where Victor was. I told him to follow the girls in case Victor was ahead of them; I would double back towards the red pandas.

Just as I doubled back, the tourist group began to head in our direction. I waited, peering through the crowd for Victor. He was nowhere to be seen. I ran up to the red panda habitat; still no Victor. Anxiety set in, but as I walked back down again (to chase the tourists), I saw a very scared Victor wandering toward me.

Now I know that Victor is in deep, unrelenting trouble for wandering away from us, and that he knows this. So I do what I can: I ask him if he thought he was following me while I nod my head repeatedly. He says yes. Good, I say. Please be careful next time. We don’t want to lose you. I will tell your parents that you thought you were with me, that this is all a mistake, again nodding my head repeatedly. Yes, he says. Mistake. Sorry.

I love the power of suggestion.

Then I took him to get his picture taken with the red panda. He was really good; he didn’t even tell his parents that he had his picture taken until we were on the way back from the Panda Adventure.

He will make a very good burglar.

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