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I Used to Work in a Zoo



This is a Scoutmaster's minute that I used recently that still has the Scouts talking. It starts with the following story told in the first person. You have to keep a straight face. I have had several ask me if I really did work at the zoo :). Here it is -

When I was 16 I discovered that having a job would be of great value to me. It would be of value because I could buy gas for my car, pay for my clothes, etc. The problem with being 16 and wanting a job is finding one. Luckily my dad knew the caretaker at the zoo and he asked him if they needed any help. He said to send me down for an interview. The very next day I went to the zoo and met him in his office. There we talked for a while and finally he told me he had a job that he thought I could do. He told me to follow him and we went through a series of tunnels and alleys (employee entrance) until we emerged by the gorilla cage. I noticed that the cage was empty. He pointed to the cage and begin to explain that the gorilla Mabel was getting very old and had just yesterday gotten sick and had to be taken to the vet. Mabel was one of>the feature attractions at the zoo and the kids just loved to see her. Mabel never did much but sit on the branch of that big tree and held onto the rope that was hanging down. He went on to say that he had a gorilla suit I could wear if I would be interested in sitting on the branch for 4 hours at a time. It sounded good to me so I told him I would.

The next day I went to the zoo, put on the gorilla suit and climbed into the cage. I sat on the branch holding the rope and soon there was a crowd of children pressing their faces to the bars. About an hour passed and I began to get into this gorilla stuff. I would grab the rope and swing across the cage. The kids thought it was great so I started swinging higher and higher. In the next cage there was a lion and he was becoming irritated by my antics and began to pace his cage and roar. I kept swinging and started to swing to the lion's side of the cage and would use my feet to push off of his bars. I could really swing out far and he roared even louder. All of a sudden I missed the bars and flew through and dropped into the lion's cage. I landed on my back and was stunned but immediately got up and ran to the front of the cage screaming "help me, help me, I am not who you think I am". Just as I got that out the lion jumped on my back and knocked me to the ground. His head was at my neck and he said, "shut up stupid or you will get us both fired".

The point to the story is that I took the job because it had a value to me. You will hear on TV news reporters say that we have a valueless society. This is incorrect. Even gang members have values, they value things like money & drugs. Everyone has values, it is the principles that determine what your values will be. The Scout Law sets a foundation of solid moral principles, from these come good values. Goodnight Scouts!

-- Thanks to Greg Gough, SM Troop 201, Ozark, MO.


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