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Do it for Yourself

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The whole Fraser- Murray clan descended from the two big vans. It was the first Saturday of the Summer Holidays and so, it was time for their traditional visit to the zoo. As always, some families that were arriving to the place looked surprised at the ever growing regiment of children running around while Claire, Jenny and John tried to manage and round them up.

'OK, all of ye. remember dinna go far from the rest of the family.' Jenny reminded the children as they walked to the entrance.

'We have some tickets reserved, the name is Fraser.' Jamie said to the lady on the ticket hall.

'Aye, I see...20 tickets.' The lady asked to Jamie. 'Is that correct?'

'Aye, 'tis correct.'

'I thought School had already finished.'

'Aye, we're no' a school.' Jamie joked. 'All the bairns are ours. Mine, my sister's or my friend's.' Jamie said as he took the tickets and the whole family moved on.

'Let's go to see the stripped horses, Murtagh.' Nikki said as they went through.

'They're no' horses, lass,' Murtagh said to the little girl. 'They're called Zebras.'

'Let's go to see the zebras.' Nikki said next.

'No, first the monkeys.' Maggie Murray was the next talking. 'Monkeys are funnier.'

'Penguins, penguins first.' Brianna Fraser also joined the chat and soon all the children except for Older Fergus were on it.

'Och, all of ye, stop it.' Jenny said to them. 'We have a circuit planned, we're all getting to see all our favourite animals, but we need to keep and order.'

The family moved around the place, stopping at every enclosure to look at the animals on it. 'Look mam, she has puppies.' Willie said about the hyenas.

'They're cute, aren't they?' Claire answered to her son.

'Can you ride them like horses, Da?' Nikki said about the zebras.

'No, a leannan. Ye canna do that.' Jamie answered.

'Why no'?' The little girl said again.

'They're too small to keep up with someone as big as me.'

'Look at monkeys up the trees, Da.' Maggie said about the macaques swirling around the trees on their enclosure.

'Aye, they're more agile than us.' Ian said to Maggie. 'Least me with just one leg.'

Mid-visit the stop for lunch at the zoo's cafe, using a whole long table for all of them, Jamie, Murtagh and John going to get all the food necessary to feed both children and adults. Once everyone was sitting properly and eating, John and Hector decided it was time for a big announcement. 'We would like to tell you something. Now all the family is here.'

'What is it, John?'

'We think it's time for Victoria to have a sibling.' Hector answer instead.

'It was about time.' Claire joked.

'I know, we always wanted our daughter to have one sibling.' John said.

'Just one?' Ian asked.

'Well, I love both your families to pieces.' Hector got the word this time. 'But two is enough for us.'

'We said that to ourselves once, but...' Jenny spoke, caressing her now big bump. 'it didna work like that for us.'

'That's a good thing then we are sure we are not able to have any 'accidents'' John joked, making all the adults laugh. 'You know, gays.'

They resumed the visit after lunch, passing through the big cats, the bears and Brianna's beloved penguins. The little girl enjoying watching them chase the keeper around as he fed them and the kangaroos, Victoria Grey getting excited as she spotted one with a little joey on her pouch. The last stop before it was time to go back home was the zoo's shop, the children cheering as Jamie told them everyone would be getting one toy from it. 'This lot goes in one bill, then this ones goes in another, and the wee kangaroo and the koala goes in a third one.' Jamie explained to the shop lady on the till.

'Ye're a verra big family.' The lady said to him as she processed the different bills.

'Aye, and growing.' Jamie answered. 'By this time next year there will be one more, maybe two more. Och, and who knows, maybe even three more.' He added putting his arm around his wife's waist, Claire nudging him for the comment.