Monday, March 7, 2011



Mingle 240

Suddenly, we were assaulted by no less than 15 crazed animals (a feeding frenzy) and my children had disappeared from sight.  My hand was trapped and I couldn’t get free.  I was yelling for help but, no one came!

That is what my English teacher called a grabber.  Let the reader get a taste and want to find out more.
This was just a simple day excursion for my children and me (in 1972).  Nothing like this was supposed to happen at Magic  Mountain in Southern  California.
We had just arrived at this beautiful park and the first attraction was a fantastic petting zoo.  It had pigs, llamas, calves, and all kinds of goats.  It was early in the morning and the usual throngs of people had not arrived as yet. 
My children wanted to feed the animals.  The feed dispensers were inside the enclosure.  I watched as other parents and kids were robbed of the joy of hand feeding by apparently starving animals.  The animals would crowd around and get the food before the kids had a chance to hold it in their hands.
Figuring that I was "smarter than the average bear" (a quote from Yogi Bear) I deduced (through careful observation) that it was the sound of the feed hitting the metal shoot of the dispenser not the quarter going into the slot that sparked the conditioned response (ok, I'm a show off) of the animals.  Therefore, I led my children to the far end of the “farm” and quietly slipped a quarter into the machine (after carefully placing my fingers into the shoot so the feed would fall silently into my hand). 
All right  guys,  I will 
make the initial hit.  
You follow me in for 
the kill.
Boy, was I wrong.  It was the click, click, click of the tumblers that alerted the animals and unlike Pavlov's dog they were not tethered, or in a cage.  They REACTED immediately.
Before I could yell, “Run for your lives!” a HERD of STAMPEDING animals hit me from behind.  A calf (which was more like a small cow) rammed its head into my elbow, launching my fingers and part of my left hand up into the machine.  At that time the tumbler rolled over again and trapped my middle finger in the danged thing.  A llama was on my back and hanging over my shoulder with it’s long tongue slapping at my hand.  And, its conditioned response (saliva) was dripping all over me (and there was also evidence that it may have been an excited male llama).  Several goats were between my legs lapping at my hands (more saliva) and the pigs were under them (salivating on my shoes, I'm sure).
Both of my children had disappeared in a dust storm of Biblical proportions.  The noise was deafening.   After what seemed like minutes instead of seconds, the air cleared  and I saw my 9 year old son sitting on the fence laughing until tears ran down his face.  My 6 year old daughter had rolled under the fence and was sprawled on the ground (with glazed over eyes and covered in dust).  I was still being held hostage by the machine.  I called for help but, no one came.  My son finally extricated me from the bully machine.  I had to go to the first aide station for medical attention to the finger I planned to FLIP at the Children’s Farm as I walked by (Yes, it was the middle digit of my left hand).
     That is not the end of the story.  Apparently, someone watching the “show” took advantage of me and took my wallet out of my purse (or possibly one of the goats) because my wallet showed up at a local gambling establishment the next day (smart goat!).  Of course the person (or goat) had $50 cash to spend (money it took me months to save).  I had to threaten to sue to get the park managers to get them to cash a check.  I was determined that a mugging was not going to stop our FUN on the MOUNTAIN.
     This picture was taken after the mugging.  That poor lion was so drugged that all he could do was snore.  The kids were thrilled, the lion was in la la land and I was faking a smile on my  face!   So, 3 out of 4 were happy.  Not a bad percentage.
kt  3/2011