Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Carousel at the Zoo

Mom and Aunt LaDene went to the zoo yesterday, and they didn't take me, even though I would have liked to go.  I have heard that there are many interesting animals at the zoo, but dogs are not allowed to go there.  Maybe this is because they might eat the interesting animals.  Or maybe the interesting animals might eat the dogs.  Anyway, for some reason there's a rule about no dogs at the zoo, so Mom said I couldn't go, and that was that.

Luckily, Mom took her camera to the zoo and came home with a bunch of pictures, so that I could see the interesting animals and maybe talk about some of them in my blog.  But the first thing I decided to talk about is the carousel, which has a whole bunch of animals on it.  All of these animals are carved by hand out of wood and are painted bright colors.  They are mostly all animals that are ENDANGERED, so while you are riding on the back of a tiger, for example, you can think about how there might someday not be any tigers in the world unless they are saved.

Mom did not ride on the carousel, even though she likes to ride on carousels.  Someday maybe she will ride on the zoo carousel, but yesterday she just took pictures.  There are 36 animals on the carousel, and here's a list of some of them:  rhino, hippo, chimpanzee, cheetah, koala, flamingo, tiger, bongo, eland, wolf, ladybug, and dart frog.

After I saw the pictures of the carousel at the Kansas City Zoo, I started wondering when carousels were invented, so I looked at Wikipedia, and I found out that there was a carved Byzantine picture from 500 A.D. that showed people riding in baskets that were hanging from a center pole.  So this was the first known carousel, and most early carousels were of this same type, where there was a central pole and the riders were suspended from it and went around and around.  Which would tend to make a person dizzy, so this was probably a fun thing to do if you don't mind getting dizzy.

The way that these carousels went around was by having an animal walk in a circle or else people pulled ropes or cranked a crank.  Later on, carousels started having platforms and they were turned by steam power.  Now they all use electricity and have lights and music and stuff like that.

In America, carousels are sometimes called "merry-go-rounds" and in the U.K. they are sometimes called "roundabouts."  Also, in America, they go counter-clockwise, and in Europe they go clockwise.  American carousels usually have mostly horses on them, and European carousels have more other types of animals like zebras and pigs and dragons.

Well, okay, that's all I'm going to write about today.  Next time I talk about the zoo, I will talk about some actual animals!

3 comments:

  1. I think your mom and my mom are a lot a like. My mom also likes the zoo and carousels. She found this a while ago:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/01/SBFU1BKV81.DTL

    http://www.timracer.com/index.html

    She said if she had the money, she'd get a basenji. I'm sure she'd get a Zest basenji, but maybe a Digital basenji. She says he's a very special dog, but I'm cuter. And she took Diggie to the swimming pool where they tried to drownd him, so I'm not so sure she loves him as much as she says she does. Mom says it was physical therapy, but it sounds like it was just tourture.

    Also I've gotten TWO new titles. I got my NA and my NAJ. (Mom says it's not nice to brag and Digital is still way ahead of me, but I am still cuter.)

    We're going to Wichita for a big dog show next week, so keep your fingers crossed and maybe I can get another title and catch up with Digital.

    Your friend,
    Zest, superstar still in training
    but with some titles (SC, NA, NAJ, NAp)

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  2. Oh, my! I like those carved dog carousel thingies, and Mom really likes them, too! I told Mom she should buy four of them, one for each of us dogs, but Mom says she cannot afford even one of them. I think Mom may be lying to me, but she says she is not. She says we have to save our money so we can buy a new air-conditioner this summer. Mom just does not have very fun priorities, but I don't know if I will ever be able to change her. She's pretty stubborn in that way.

    Congratulations on your new titles! I am very impressed to know such a titled basenji girl as you. How many titles do you have to have before you are not in training anymore? I have been to Wichita several times. Well, I have been THROUGH Wichita because it is on the way between Kansas City and Texas. Sometimes Mom eats lunch there when we are traveling.

    Your friend, Piper

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