One of the most fun activities that our family enjoyed last weekend when my sister was in town was the traditional Mother’s Day visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. We were slightly delayed in our arrival at the zoo, taking a very important detour to a world-famous hotdog stand in River Grove. The place was packed with hungry moms and their families — we laughed to see people having tailgate parties in the parking lot. And then we decided it was a great idea!
Spontaneous tailgate party at Gene and Jude’s. FUN!
With our bellies full of Chicago-style hotdogs and greasy fries, we hopped back in the cars and hightailed it to the zoo. Our information was that the zoo would be open until 6:00 so we sped along at top-notch speed so as not to miss a single exhibit. We arrived at the zoo, full of anticipation to see the Red Panda, the miniature wild boar, the ostriches, the polar bear and the silver-back mountain gorillas.
But first, Mother Goose needed to get to the ladies’ room…of course. We dashed into the Lion House and down the stairs, followed the signage to the rest area and made the necessary pit stop. Mother Goose set her brand-spanking-new smart phone on top of the toilet paper holder…
We regrouped upstairs, looked quickly at the various forms of wild feline and then headed straight for the Red Pandas — the most important animal for us to see! Within steps of the exhibit, Mother Goose reached into her pocket for her phone to take a picture of the rare panda, the cutest little panda who actually looks more like a racoon than a panda. The phone was not in the pocket of Mother Goose…
She reached into her enormous bag, fumbling through all the wallets, notebooks, change purses — the eyes on the ends of her fingers searching and searching for the phone. All in vain.
Mother Goose gasped in horror. The phone had been left behind in the ladies’ bathroom. Honkly madly, flapping like a crazed goose, she spun on her heel and ran back to the Lion House.
Omigooseness! Where’s my phone?
Fortunately, she is a trained marathon runner so she quickly achieved the maximum heartrate and accelerated her pace. Dodging little children and knocking over some elderly zoo visitors, Mother Goose reached the stairs leading down to the bathrooms. She flew down the stairs with a worried expression on her feathery face, and an insane focus in her eyes. Frantic face and focus…
She reached the stall specifically assigned and designed for geese.
She looked into the empty stall.
Her countenance fell as she looked at the top of the toilet paper holder — the really brand-spanking-new smart phone was not there.
Turning around, she quickly scanned the countertops and floor around the area. The crowds of ladies stared at this distressed goose as she searched high and low in the vicinity of the disappearance. When her daughters arrived on the bathroom scene, Mother Goose sadly shook her head. No phone.
We slowly started up the stairs to tell the family that all hope of finding the phone was gone. The day was surely ruined. The best we could hope for was a mountain of regret at the silly forgetfulness of the goose.
Suddenly there appeared on the stairway, a woman of hispanic heritage with a halo of compassion over her head. “Did you lose something?” she asked Mother Goose quietly with the slightest bit of an accent.
I nodded sadly.
She had a knowing look on her kind face. “What did you lose?” she asked.
With eyes brimming with salty tears, I replied, “My phone…”
“Is this it?” She held up my LG Thrill phone with a smile that wouldn’t quit.
“Omigosh, YES,” said the goose. “God bless you, God bless you.”
“We saw you running. We knew it was your phone,” she explained as she handed me the phone which once was lost, but now was found.
The Spanish angel put her arm around me. She put her head next to my goose head as we climbed up the stairway. The only thing I could say, over and over, was “God bless you, God bless you.”
Will you be an angel to some silly and forgetful goose today? God bless you. God bless you.