Monday, September 20, 2010


My father has an aversion to stripes. Maybe that’s too strong a word; he just won’t wear them, finding them, I believe, almost offensively boring.

One of our good friends who visited recently knows my father and his opinion on stripes. As we walked through the zoo, it occurred to my friend to ask me what my father thought of zebras. I felt intrigued and a little guilty: I didn’t know. Was he against them? Was he against their stripes? Or would he just be against wearing a zebra himself?

So I emailed my father about it, and felt a little better about my ignorance when he admitted that he’d never really thought about it either. But, he said, “I have always liked zebras, so obviously their stripes don't bother me.” He also pointed out that zebra stripes aren’t exactly “STRIPEY stripes”—which, given their uneven thickness and wavy patterns, is a pretty fair observation.

I was glad that zebras received my father’s seal of approval—since, aesthetically speaking, I think they should meet with everyone’s approval. I don’t know much about their behavior or life histories (though I do know first-hand that they’re capable of making incredible braying noises, sounding like a cross between a donkey and a bear), but, man, they are good-looking.

It’s also pretty hypnotic to see them standing near one another, when all of their patterns of stripes align and overlap and separate, making you wonder where one ends and the other begins.

They’re sufficiently interesting to look at that I’m starting to become motivated to learn more about them as animals, not just models. Well, I’m contemplating actually learning about them… For the moment, though, I’m still content just to watch and take pictures of them, happy in the knowledge that everyone, including my father, can enjoy them.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Anca said...

There are those who enjoy them as "skins." The vibrancy of the living subject dulls when we humans scalp him/her.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Zebras pull it off. I couldn't.

Unknown said...

Wow, O, I've seen zebras before, of course, but your pictures make me really *see* zebras. They really are gorgeous. Even their butts! :)

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