Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Zoemund Miller and Cloverdale's Zoo Lite.

Zoemund Miller, Zoo keeper at your Service.

Zoemund Miller is the manager of Cloverdale’s small zoo. Well, he calls it a zoo. In reality it is a combination of the city’s animal shelter and small petting zoo established by the CSPCA (Confederacy Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). You'll find it two blocks from Town Centre on the High Street next to the police station. For a small entrance fee you get to walk through the police station and out into the shelter / zoo for a tour. If you’re lucky you may see Alfred Potts, one of Cloverdale’s more notorious citizens, locked up in one of the two jail cells. Alfred has a problem with parking. He believes that parking should be allowed anywhere you see asphalt and / or concrete. On any given day you’ll find his 1962 Volkswagen Bug parked on a sidewalk, someone else’s driveway, the outdoor basket ball court at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, or even the small spillway used to empty a small holding dam when the water levels are too high on Rapid Creek.

Alfred's Bug found parked correctly at Home. Alfred was given a choice,
park correctly at home or get his supper in his lap and not on a plate.

Alfred could wallpaper his small bungalow with the traffic tickets he's been issued by every village constable for the last fifty years.

The village locks Alfred up every time he does something really stupid, like park in front of the village fire truck - at the fire station no less. You would think Alfred would correct his bad behavior but he doesn’t. He seems to like his time in jail. Even his wife Martha isn’t bothered by his time away from home.
“He's always underfoot,” she says. “When he’s locked up I can get things done around the house.” It seems Alfred has a problem with more than parking. According to Martha he never puts anything away where it belongs.
“His junk is like the consumption. It spreads and becomes unstoppable. You just watch, one day I’ll disappear, only to be found dead weeks later under a pile of his crap!”

The shelter / zoo has a wonderful assortment of cats and dogs. Many are friendly. Most don’t bite or scratch. The ones that do have cages with a skull and crossbones sign over the opening. There are a few rabbits, usually around Easter. Once in awhile the zoo gets a snake or a lizard resulting in an increase in attendance. Last year a black and white, severely overweight, dog was brought in. Zoemund put a poster in the police station window advertising Cloverdale’s first Panda, shipped directly from China. The line went right out the door and spilled onto the street for that special event. A few asked for their money back. Others didn’t seem to mind. Some days are boring, even in Cloverdale. Any distraction is welcome.

Zoemund's newest addition to the zoo is a sign he found while shopping on Ebay. It warns you not to feed the animals or you might make them sick. He and Alfred laughed for nearly a quarter hour the day the sign arrived. Today, the sign hangs over the guinea pig pen. Most read it curiously, smile and move on to the frogs. Others read it carefully and step away from the cage not sure if it was safe to be that close to man eating guinea pigs.

Two weeks ago Zoemund had the first graders from St. Bartholomew’s School visiting the zoo. While they were completely fixated on a three legged dog named Ilene, he pulled their teacher, Sister Mary Prudle of the Sisters of Ever Increasing Hope, away from the class and asked her to fill out a field trip questionnaire. While she was out of sight in the police station he moved the children to the guinea pig cage and read the sign to them outloud. The class immediately backed away in fear.
“By the way, where is your teacher?” he asked in a very innocent voice. The children looked back and forth. Sister Mary was always within arm’s reach. Where was she? Zoemund continued, “The last time I saw her she was standing right here next to the guinea pig cage. In fact I saw her leaning over the cage to give one of the them a few peanuts from her purse. Oh no... you don’t think the guinea pigs.......... Oh no. It can’t be.”

Needless to say, Sister Mary was out the door when she heard her class's horrific screams. She was not please and asked for her questionnaire back. She modified her comments to reflect Zoemund’s latest stunt.

Zoemund received a reprimand from the Chief. The sign was removed. Zoemund was required to bring one of the guinea pigs to Sister Mary’s classroom to show them that guinea pigs do not eat people.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to donate the whole herd of pygmi goats that migrated through my yard last year, the annoying neighbors tiny teacup poodle, and a colony of fat,lawn-eating, tulip bulb munching VOLES to this zoo. The voles are a threat to our national security and need to be contained in electrified steel structures for best results of permanent captivity.