In the back of the zoo (in the public viewing area), in front of the giraffe, zebra, ostrich exhibit area, there is a beautiful guava tree. In the last couple of weeks, it has started dropping guavas on the sidewalk, so they’re obviously ripe, and last week I learned how to “harvest” them: climb up the walled barrier and into the base of the tree and shake the branches for all you’re worth, and hey! presto! you have guavas! They roll down the hill and you can collect them at the bottom.
On Tuesday I suggested getting some guavas for the primates (spider monkeys, gibbons, etc) thinking how nice and tasty the guavas might be– they’re all lovely and pink on the inside and smell divine and (other than the tiny, hard seeds) are sweet. The keeper said it was a great idea and sent me with a diet bag back into the Africa section to collect some.
Cue guava harvesting.
Picture me, braced in a tree in plain view of the public, shaking a tree to make these little yellow fruits fall onto the ground, periodically chasing after them so they don’t roll away. After about the third group of people walked by, I realized that I must look absolutely ridiculous.
Never mind that, I kept thinking, you have your zoo shirt on and no one’s going to question you. This was mostly true, though a couple of people were curious and I explained that a lot of the plants in the zoo actually get fed to the animals. That explained away a lot of the stupid appearance. Something in the guava tree got on my arms and made me a little itchy, but since I’m always being bitten by bugs at the zoo, I didn’t worry about it.
When I got home, I found a couple of tiny, slightly itchy bites on my stomach, so I put some ointment on them and covered them with Bandaids and went about my business.
Fast forward to today. I took the Bandaids off after my shower to check the bites (thinking they’d be gone) and discovered that they’d gotten colorful. Basically each had developed a rather interesting looking rash.
SO I took my happy self directly to my doctor’s office, even though they can only squeeze in so many walk-ins per day… and got lucky– I was the last walk-in of the day. I showed my doctor my stomach. “What in the world were you doing?” she asked. “I was climbing around in a guava tree at the zoo…” I started. There’s the stupid showing again. So I explained a little more, and she got a kick out of my story. She wanted to know all about the guavas, too. Apparently finding the sweet, pink ones is unusual. Oh, and she said I probably got ants on me.
The end of the story is that I’m on antibiotics for 10 days and have some cortisone. Lucky me.
Moral of the story?
Always check the guava tree for ants before you shake it for all your worth and they fall all over you.
For some reason, when I first published this it said that “I’m not on antibiotics” for some reason. I meant to write that I AM on antibiotics. They’re horsepill looking things, too. Yay me.