Walking along, I spotted a stone path that had some particularly thick tropical growth on either side. We suggested to our daughter that we walk through the “jungle” and she immediately agreed that was a good plan.
We were only a few steps along the path when we heard a series of crashes from above. Suddenly something dropped in a great thud next to us. In the first few milliseconds of panic, it was difficult to process what had happened, only that something large and furry had fallen from the sky inches from where we were standing. Of course, we freaked out. My husband and I both attempted to bolt, but in opposite directions. Unfortunately, we each had a hold of one of our daughter’s hands. So instead of fleeing the scene, we fell backwards into the bushes opposite the animal, which turned out to be a sloth. The sloth was equally bewildered, as I’m sure, it had been asleep only seconds before, wiggling in a rather slow slothy manner to get it’s bearings.
The Botanical Gardens is basically like a park. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that something larger than a bird was hanging around above us. From a visitor’s perspective, it had the shock effect of walking through Central Park in NYC and having a bear cub drop next to you.
We, including the sloth, all managed the event without serious injury (although I did land on a rock and seem to have bruised my tailbone). However, my daughter has a new element to her reality, which is that, yes, a large furry animal CAN drop from the sky.
The lesson is a good one for all of us. When it appears that the coast is clear… look up.