She took a long, slurping pull on the straw of her massive lemonade.
“God I love the South,” she said with a satisfied sigh. “You people fry everything you eat, and dump sugar in everything you drink.”
The head vet of the Memphis Zoo gave the representative from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums a perplexed look. “Thank you, I think…but I’m still not quite sure as to the point of this visit.”
“I’m here about babies, specifically elephant babies.” She took another pull on the straw.
The head vet’s expression shifted immediately to a scowl. “Asali’s accident was just that – an accident. It’s all in the official report. I’ve got better things to do.” He stood up to go, furious.
The woman across from him continued to drink her lemonade, unfazed by his outburst. “You done now? Got that out of your system? I’m not here about that, well not specifically.”
The vet didn’t sit, but he didn’t leave, either.
“People like babies,” She began. “Especially freakish pink elephant babies for some reason. We know Asali’s fertile and we’d like to knock her up.
“You guys had a crap run. I’m here to give you a second shot.”
When the elephant Asali accidentally killed her calf in 2009, just days after it was born, a pall fell over the city. Hopefully, happiness will replace that lingering memory of that accident when Asali’s herdmate Gina gives birth to her first calf in mid-2012.