My name is Sarah and I am your guide
this morning, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys.
Please keep all your belongings close
and please, please feed the animals
.

Notice the peahen on your left, pruning her mate’s colours:
helping him paint the air while she waits, watches,
follows him, dressed in the sweep
of his shadow; pecks dust.

Watch orangutan Mum cuddle her baby continuously
one whole year, slow-swing him through the trees,
nuzzle him to unbroken sleep in her nest
of playful, restless dreams.

The reptile house is open today but
our lizards are cold-blooded, shy. With camouflage scales,
they’ll hide behind stones, leaves, anything to avoid being seen.
They’ll even shed their own tails to escape.

The penguin’s characteristic waddle may raise a laugh.
It walks nowhere fast but is a powerful
swimmer, reaching 9mph. Some say its wings
are a memory, or wish, of when it could fly.

Sarah James

Welcome to the ‘zoo’! Click on an ‘animal’ in the list below to hear ‘it’ talk!

Beetle

Flea

Snake

Tiger

Zebra