By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 03/07/2010 01:27:21 AM PST
San Diego Zoo, 1960 -- I'm 10 years old and it's my first visit to a zoo. My parents and I walk past cages full of fascinating animals for several hours. At one of our stops my Dad points out the biggest rat I'd ever seen peacefully lumbering around in its enclosure.
He weighs about a hundred pounds Dad said, “which means he's heavier than you.” That sobered me up quick. As he talked about the capybara, I moved closer to the cage and came eye-to-eye with one of the big rascals.
What I saw was sorrow. A longing for home. “They can be found in Panama, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru...” Dad droned on, but his words were lost in my growing sadness.
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