A Good Sport: Animal Magnetism

Gorilla 315

It’s sometimes hard for me to believe that Sage and Brayden are different people, because in many ways they act as one. Brayden is always imitating the actions of his big sister, and they share many interests. They both really love french fries, swimming and of course, making a mess, and now I’m adding animals to the list.

Ever since they were very young, Sage and Brayden have always been fascinated with animals. Petting dogs, looking up at birds and feeding the ducks are pretty common activities when we are out and about. But just a few weeks ago I saw my kids take their fascination to another level. We were at the Granby Zoo near Montreal, Canada (an awesome place, I recommend it if you are in the area). I saw my kids connect with a camel, bond with a baboon and get friendly with farm animals. They were giggling with the goats, petting the pigs and chugging after the chickens. It was an awesome experience.

Sage told my wife, Charisse, and me that she wanted us to buy her a pet pig, while Brayden actually cuddled with a sleeping sheep. (The ground was a little dirty, but I promise both kids took extensive baths later that night.) The kids had such a good time that after hanging out for an hour, I finally told them we needed to leave so we could visit the lions, tigers and monkeys. Sage actually had a cool experience with a gorilla. He came right up to her on the other side of the glass and smiled because he was interested in the pizza she was eating. I guess music isn’t the only thing that can tame the savage beast.

All of this pleased me. If my kids know how to treat animals with love and respect, then perhaps they will do the same with people. We want our kids to know that generosity and love are important qualities. I think they are realizing this thanks to some old-fashioned animal magnetism.

Bruce Snyder is a longtime sportscaster who lives in Charlotte with his wife and two children.